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Title: A fictitious domain approach for hybrid simulations of eukaryotic chemotaxis
Author: Seguis, Jean-Charles
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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Chemotaxis, the phenomenon through which cells respond to external chemical signals, is one of the most important and universally observable in nature. It has been the object of considerable modelling effort in the last decades. The models for chemotaxis available in the literature cannot reconcile the dynamics of external chemical signals and the intracellular signalling pathways leading to the response of the cells. The reason is that models used for cells do not contain the distinction between the extracellular and intracellular domains. The work presented in this dissertation intends to resolve this issue. We set up a numerical hybrid simulation framework containing such description and enabling the coupling of models for phenomena occurring at extracellular and intracellular levels. Mathematically, this is achieved by the use of the fictitious domain method for finite elements, allowing the simulation of partial differential equations on evolving domains. In order to make the modelling of the membrane binding of chemical signals possible, we derive a suitable fictitious domain method for Robin boundary elliptic problems. We also display ways to minimise the computational cost of such simulation by deriving a suitable preconditioner for the linear systems resulting from the Robin fictitious domain method, as well as an efficient algorithm to compute fictitious domain specific linear operators. Lastly, we discuss the use of a simpler cell model from the literature and match it with our own model. Our numerical experiments show the relevance of the matching, as well as the stability and accuracy of the numerical scheme presented in the thesis.
Supervisor: Burrage, Kevin; Erban, Radek; Kay, David Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Biology and other natural sciences (mathematics) ; Computer science (mathematics) ; Functional analysis (mathematics) ; Mathematical biology ; Numerical analysis ; Partial differential equations ; Finite Elements ; Fictitious domain method ; PDEs ; Chemotaxis