CellML is primarily designed to describe mathematical models of cellular biological function, but is not domain specific - it can be used to describe models from essentially any field, or biological models at smaller or larger spatial scales.

Description of mathematical models

CellML is able to encode models that are represented by systems of ordinary differential equations. Model structure can be represented through the use of components and the connections between these components.

From a mathematical point of view, CellML 1.1 is primarily used to describe models using real numbers, ordinary differential equations (ODEs), differential algebraic equations (DAEs), and simple linear algebra.

These capabilites are particularly suited to lumped parameter models and descriptions of reaction kinetics and interactions between biomacromolecules, small molecules. CellML is well suited to describe models of a wide range of physiological processes, including metabolism, electrophysiology, signal transduction, cell division, immunology, muscle contraction.

Modular modelling and re-use

Models can be built up from any number of separate CellML models or components within models, through the use of imports. This enables modellers to easily re-use existing models or parts of those models to create new, more complex models.

Learn more about CellML

For more information regarding the capabilities and competencies of CellML, the reader is referred to the publication “CellML and associated tools and techniques” by Garny et al.