Mathematical models of cell colonization of uniformly growing domains

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During the development of vertebrate embryos, cell migrations occur on an underlying tissue domain in response to some factor, such as nutrient. Over the time scale of days in which this cell migration occurs, the underlying tissue is itself growing. Consequently cell migration and colonization is strongly affected by the tissue domain growth. Numerical solutions for a mathematical model of chemotactic migration with no domain growth can lead to travelling waves of cells with constant velocity; the addition of domain growth can lead to travelling waves with nonconstant velocity. These observations suggest a mathematical approximation to the full system equations, allowing the method of characteristics to be applied to a simplified chemotactic migration model. The evolution of the leading front of the migrating cell wave is analysed. Linear, exponential and logistic uniform domain growths are considered. Successful colonization of a growing domain depends on the competition between cell migration velocity and the velocity and form of the domain growth, as well as the initial penetration distance of the cells. In some instances the cells will never successfully colonize the growing domain. These models provide an insight into cell migration during embryonic growth, and its dependence upon the form and timing of the domain growth. © 2003 Society for Mathematical Biology. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.




Landman, K. A., Pettet, G. J., & Newgreen, D. F. (2003). Mathematical models of cell colonization of uniformly growing domains. Bulletin of Mathematical Biology, 65(2), 235–262.

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