Several existing mathematical models of the survival of mammalian cells in culture following heating are compared. These models describe the fraction of cells that survive in a normal culture environment following a relatively brief period of heating between approximately 43 °C and 60 °C. The models have been developed either from rate process or mechanistic arguments. Little quantitative comparison between such models has been made using the same sets of data. The models are compared using the Akaike Information Criterion (AICc) after the model parameters have been estimated for two sets of existing data: human prostate cancer cells and Chinese hamster ovary cells. Most of the models capture the cell survival response. Scaled sensitivity coefficients show that some of the models have parameters that are difficult to estimate reliably. Relatively small variations in the AICc suggest that more measurements are needed before ranking the models.

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