DEPARTMENT OF MATHEMATICAL & STATISTICAL SCIENCES
UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA
  

MATHEMATICAL BIOLOGY SEMINAR
 

MONDAY, March 3, 2003

3:00 PM

CAB 657
 

Dr. Thomas Hillen

Department of Mathematical & Statistical Sciences
Unviversity of Alberta

 

Volume-Filling and Quorum-Sensing in Models for Chemotaxis

 

Chemotaxis is one of many mechanisms used by cells and organisms to navigate through the environment, and has been found on scales varying from the microscopic to the macroscopic. Some of the continuum models for chemotaxis are unstable and lead to finite time blow-up, or ``overcrowding'' scenarios. Cell overcrowding is unrealistic from a biological context, as it ignores the finite size of individual cells and the behaviour of cells at higher densities. In this talk I present co-work with K. Painter. We consider a number of approaches by which such equations can arise based on biologically realistic mechanisms, including the finite size of individual cells - ``volume filling'' and the employment of cell density sensing mechanisms - ``quorum-sensing''. We show the existence of nontrivial steady states and we study the traveling wave problem for these models. A comprehensive numerical exploration of the model reveals a wide variety of interesting pattern forming properties. Finally we turn our attention to the robustness of patterning under domain growth, and discuss some potential applications of the model.