Chalmers Conferences, 9th European Conference on Mathematical and Theoretical Biology

A Computational Model for Eukaryotic Cell Migration and Chemotaxis
John MacKenzie, R.H Insall, M Nolan

Last modified: 2014-06-09




A computational framework is presented for the simulation of eukaryotic 
cell migration and chemotaxis. A pattern formation model, based on a
system of nonlinear reaction-diffusion equations, is approximated in the 
evolving cell membrane using an arbitrary Lagrangian Eulerian surface finite 
element method (ALE-SFEM). The solution state is used to drive a 
mechanical model of the protrusive and retractive forces of the cell 
boundary. Movement of the cell is achieved using a parameterised finite 
element method. Building on an earlier model of ours, we extend our computational 
technique to include the coupling with two-dimensional intra and extra-cellular effects such as
surface receptor ligand binding kinetics and cell adhesion. We will discuss the efficient grid
generation for two-dimensional evolving domains and the solution of
reaction-diffusion equations on the evolving cell membrane coupled to
processes in the bulk. The capability of the numerical framework will be
demonstrated in a range of biological simulations including chemotaxis.