Mathematical models are equations (or systems of equations) that allow one the connect the conditions of a system/experiment with its predicted behavior/experimental data. Figure 1 shows an example of this where the Langmuir-Hill equation (in the center) connects the conditions (left) of a fluorescence binding assay with the dose-response curve (right) that results from conducting the experiment.
This “bridging” generally occurs in one of two directions:
- First, if complete information about your system is known (or can be estimated), it can be input into the equations of the mathematical model (using a software program such as Excel) in order to predict experimental results. This is known as a simulation
- Second, if some information about your experimental system is not known (such as the value of a dissociation constant, see above figure) you can calculate that unknown by combining your experimental data, the equation(s), and your known conditions using a program such as GraphPad Prism. This is known as curve fitting.
This work by Eugene Douglass and Chad Miller is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.