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Home | Seminars and Symposia | Past seminars/symposia: Thursday, April 24, 2003

A Simple Approach to Modeling Tissues and Development


James A. Glazier
Director, Biocomplexity Institute
Indiana University

Thursday, April 24, 2003
2:30 pm

402 Walter Library

Presented by

Math Biology / Applied Math Seminar

During embryonic development, cells need to differentiate and to migrate long distances through tissues. How do they know where to go? Cells secrete and follow gradients of diffusible chemicals (chemotaxis) and secrete non-diffusing extracellular matrix. In addition, variable adhesion molecules expressed on cells' surfaces help them to form coherent structures by differential adhesion. We have developed a simple, energy minimization framework to implement these and related morphogenetic processes and are currently applying it to the problem of the development of the bone structure in the avian wing. The same method (by the Mathematical Biology Group of Maree and Hogeweg at the University of Utrecht) has succeded in simulating the entire life cycle of the simple organism, Dictyostelium discoideum. One attractive feature of this approach is that it can interface at small length scales with the increasingly sophisticated models for genetic regulation and biochemistry inside individual cells and at large length scales with continuum Partial Differential Equation and Finite Element models.