Distinguishing between motility regulation and directional guidance through modelling and simulation
Anna Cai (Mathematics and Statistics, University of Melbourne)
(June 19, 2006 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM)
This work is based on the experimental observations of migration of neurons in the presence of a signalling molecule known as Slit, found in the migratory path. Experiments by Ward et al [J.Neurosci, 2003, 23(12):5170-5177] in vitro involved a circular tissue explant containing many neurons, placed in the proximity of a Slit source. In the absence of a Slit source, the neurons migrated away from the explant in a radially symmetric fashion. When Slit was present asymmetric distributions of neurons over time were observed, pointing to a possible inhibitory or repulsive role of Slit. We have used population models and individual nearest neighbour random walk models to match experimental observations of the cell distributions and individual cell tracks. This talk describes preliminary results of one and two-dimensional models.
Numerous cell migration processes exhibit travelling waves, from tumour cell invasion to wound healing. Using a wound healing assay, we model contact inhibited cell motility and cell proliferation with both continuum and discrete techniques. Imaging analysis shows that cells at the healing wavefront tend to be more motile compared to the cells behind the wavefront. This work has applications to the modelling of cell migration where diffusion and proliferation are the dominant mechanisms. We use both a modified Fisher equation, and an interacting population model to match simulation outputs with experimental data. Discrete simulations of reaction diffusion equations using continuous time random walkers will be also discussed.