A BDI-based continuous-time modelling approach for intracellular dynamics is presented. It is shown how temporalised BDI-models make it possible to model intracellular biochemical processes as decision processes. By abstracting from some of the details of the biochemical pathways, the model achieves understanding in nearly intuitive terms, without losing veracity: classical intentional state properties such as beliefs, desires and intentions are founded in reality through precise biochemical relations. In an extensive example, the complex regulation of Escherichia coli vis-à-vis lactose, glucose and oxygen is simulated as a discrete-state, continuous-time temporal decision manager. Thus a bridge is introduced between two different scientific areas: the area of BDI-modelling and the area of intracellular dynamics. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.