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Modelling and simulation of cell motility with surface finite elements

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Free Boundary Problems and Related Topics

We propose a general framework for the modelling and simulation of cell motility. The cell membrane dynamics is governed by a geometric evolution law accounting for its mechanical properties. For the polarisation of the cell we postulate a reaction diffusion system for species located on the moving cell membrane. Protrusion is than achieved by back-coupling these surface quantities to the geometric equation for the membrane position. The numerical method to approximate the general model is based on surface finite elements for both the geometric equation and the surface equations. We demonstrate the versatility of this approach to describe the motion of different cells in two and three dimensions. We also discuss the problem of fitting to experimental data and to this end present a method for identifying parameters in the model.

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

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