Agent-based Model of Sepsis

A serious medical condition, sepsis is characterized by a systemic inflammatory response to a bacterial infection. Symptoms include fever, rapid breathing, increased pulse rate and an elevated white blood cell count. The condition can rapidly progress to septic shock, multiple organ failure and ultimately death. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 750,000 patients in the U.S. develop sepsis each year. Mortality rates are now around 28-50%, but new research suggests that early identification and intervention may improve patient outcomes. A septic attack is caused by either a bacteria infection or trauma. For the purpose of our model, we focused on bacteria infections.

Two high school students, Keely Rasmussen and Yakov Pechersky, working with Drs. Yoram Vodovotz (Director, Center for Inflammation and Regeneration Modeling at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, University of Pittsburgh) and Dr. Qi Mi (Center for Inflammation and Regenerative Modeling and Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition, University of Pittsburgh) under the auspices of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s Advanced Mentorship Program, created an agent-based model of sepsis.

They presented their work at the 2007 ICCAI, and we are very proud of them.

You can manipulate this simulation to learn more about sepsis and the acute inflammatory response. Download and learn more about the NetLogo model here.

From left to right: Dr. Mi, Yakov P., Keely R.,
Dr. Vodovotz
ICCAI best poster winners and honorary mention:
From left to right: Dr. Brahm Goldstein, Dr. Marie Csete, Dr. Silvia Daun, Ian Price, Dr. Gilles Clermont, Keely R., Yakov P.