Hierarchical bond graph modelling of biochemical networks

Peter J. Gawthrop, Joseph Cursons, Edmund J. Crampin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


The bond graph approach to modelling biochemical networks is extended to allow hierarchical construction of complex models from simpler components. This is made possible by representing the simpler components as thermodynamically open systems exchanging mass and energy via ports. A key feature of this approach is that the resultant models are robustly thermodynamically compliant: The thermodynamic compliance is not dependent on precise numerical values of parameters. Moreover, the models are reusable owing to the well-defined interface provided by the energy ports. To extract bond graph model parameters from parameters found in the literature, general and compact formulae are developed to relate free-energy constants and equilibrium constants. The existence and uniqueness of solutions is considered in terms of fundamental properties of stoichiometric matrices. The approach is illustrated by building a hierarchical bond graph model of glycogenolysis in skeletal muscle.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20150642
Number of pages23
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2184
Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Biochemical systems
  • Bond graph
  • Network thermodynamics
  • Reaction kinetics

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