Build . Share . Explore .

Artistoo (Artificial Tissue Toolbox) is a framework that lets you build interactive, explorable simulation models of cells and tissues in the web browser.



Artistoo implements the Cellular Potts Model (CPM), a powerful framework for simulating diverse biological processes at tissue scale. It also contains methods for simulating the more basic Cellular Automaton (CA) class of models.


Artistoo is 100% JavaScript. Although JS is an interpreted language, investments by tech companies have boosted its performance over the years - letting us run web simulations without loss of speed. Thanks, Google! :)


Artistoo simulations can be shared through a simple URL, or as an HTML file saved locally. Code will run as long as you include the script; your recipients don't need to install software, and you don't need a back-end server.


Artistoo simulations run in HTML pages and can easily be made explorable. Your users don't have to be programmers: just add HTML sliders or input fields to let users interact with model parameters in real-time.

Getting started


Visit the manual to learn about CPMs and for tutorials on how to get started with the framework... from scratch.


Looking at the supplied examples is a great way to learn what you can do with the framework. Download the page, adjust the code, see what happens.

Docs Inline docs

Once you are up to speed, have a look at the detailed method documentation to discover all options and possibilities.


Do you need something that's not there? Don't worry, Artistoo can easily be extended with your own code. See the manual for an explanation.

License and Publication

Artistoo is freely available under the terms of the MIT open-source software license. To use for a publication, please cite:

Inge M. N. Wortel and Johannes Textor (2020).
Artistoo, a library to build, share, and explore simulations of cells and tissues in the web browser.
eLife 2021;10:e61288. doi:10.7554/eLife.61288.

This publication contains more information on Artistoo performance and discusses applications of interactive simulations in education, research, and open science.