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Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 423627, 13 pages
Research Article

The Stochastic Evolution of a Protocell: The Gillespie Algorithm in a Dynamically Varying Volume

1Namur Center for Complex Systems and University of Namur, 5000 Namur, Belgium
2CIRI, Energy and Environment Interdipartimental Center for Industrial Research, University of Bologna and European Centre for Living Technology, Cá Foscari University of Venice, 30124 Venice, Italy

Received 30 September 2011; Accepted 28 November 2011

Academic Editor: Carlo Cattani

Copyright © 2012 T. Carletti and A. Filisetti. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We propose an improvement of the Gillespie algorithm allowing us to study the time evolution of an ensemble of chemical reactions occurring in a varying volume, whose growth is directly related to the amount of some specific molecules, belonging to the reactions set. This allows us to study the stochastic evolution of a protocell, whose volume increases because of the production of container molecules. Several protocell models are considered and compared with the deterministic models.