The purpose of this project was to create a mathematical model to simulate the removal of alcohol from the human body in order to obtain a blood alcohol content (BAC) prediction. An accurate prediction of BAC would be useful in a variety of fields. Lawyers, police officers, scientists, and the average person could use such predictions in many different circumstances.
Compartmental modeling is a method of mathematical simulation where various parts of a system are represented as a “compartment” and equations are used to model transfer between compartments. We hypothesized that a compartmental model representing the stomach, small intestine, and lean body mass could provide a more accurate estimate of BAC than current models.
We are continuing this project from last year in an effort to improve the accuracy of the simulation. We have updated the stomach compartment by including an equation that accounts for first-pass metabolism (elimination of alcohol in the stomach) and have modified our rate equations between compartments. Additionally, we are allowing for a variable liquid volume in the stomach and intestine to obtain a more realistic simulation.
We wrote a computer program in C++ to implement our compartmental model and compare the accuracy of our predictions to those of currently existing models. We chose to rewrite the program in Java this year to allow the implementation of a sophisticated Graphical User Interface (GUI) that can be used on any operating system. We restructured the program in this process in a more efficient, object-oriented fashion.
We obtained experimental data from the Texas Transportation Institute as a benchmark for the accuracy of our predictions. We concluded that our compartmental model provides a more accurate prediction for both male and female subjects.