Dipl.-Ing. Tom Theile

Tom Theile

University of Rostock
Department of Computer Science
Systems Biology and Bioinformatics

Ulmenstraße 69, Haus 3, Room 413a
18051 Rostock

Phone: +49 (0) 381 498 7577
Fax: +49 (0) 381 498 7572
Email: tom.theile(at)uni-rostock.de


Agent-Based Simulation of Cell-Cell Interactions in Bone Remodeling


Osteoclasts and Osteoblasts tear down and rebuild the mineralized bone matrix to maintain a healthy and stable bone. Bone remodeling removes microcracks and adopts the bone to changing loads. Pathologic changes of this process can weaken the bone and lead to osteoporosis and spontaneous fractures.


Current empiric methodologies fail to give enough insight into bone remodeling to understand the cellular cooperation to realize bone remodeling. Computer simulations give us the possibility to test concurring hypotheses about the principles of bone remodeling.

A simple spatio-temporal model about the formation and detection of microcracks inside trabecular bone can test different hypotheses about how osteocytes can sense structural damage and mechanical strain inside the bone.

We test these Models on real data acquired by micro computed tomography of trabecular bone.


We can show how different hypotheses about the cooperation between osteocytes, osteoclasts and osteoblasts result in different efficiencies of the bone remodeling process. The detection of microcracks by osteocytes reduces the number of long microcracks by an order of magnitude at the same remodeling rate

Simple Models with few input parameters like this one can provide clear insights to complex processes. We show quantitatively the importance of a regulatory role of osteocyte - a role that was often postulated but never backed by data before.


SCHARM, M., WENDLAND, F., PETER, M., WOLFIEN, M., THEILE, T. and WALTMATH, D., 2014. The CombineArchiveWeb application–A web based tool to handle files associated with modelling results. Proceedings of the SWAT4LS 2014; Semantic Web Applications and Tools for Life Sciences (SWAT4LS). DOI: 10.7287/peerj.preprints.639v1.

THEILE, T., LÖWE, H., THEILE, T.C. and SCHNEEBELI, M., 2011. Simulating creep of snow based on microstructure and the anisotropic deformation of ice. Acta Materialia, 2011, 59. Jg., Nr. 18, S. 7104-7113, DOI: 10.1016/j.actamat.2011.07.065.

Book chapter

THEILE, T. und WOLKENHAUER, O. Mehrebenensysteme in der Systembiologie Wissenschaft und Kunst der Modellierung. De Gruyter 2015.


In addition to the entire graduate school, my supervisors are: