The lymphatic system maintains fluid balance throughout the body and is a crucial component of the immune system. Lymph nodes are stationed along the lymphatic network, sample the lymph and allow initiation of the adaptive immune response if antigen is detected. By using computer models we can see beyond experiments and understand the complex interactions between our cells, tissues and fluids. By creating and refining a set of rules for how T-cells and dendritic cells behave we can create simulations of hundreds of thousands of cells called cellular automata. This allows us to explore how the immune cells interact with each other to protect us from infection .
By studying small signalling proteins, called chemokines and how they build up in the lymph nodes we can better understand how cell motion and function is coordinated . How this helps our immune system when we are healthy and what can go wrong in disease.