Computer simulation of neurite outgrowth
de Provence, St Jérome, IRPHE/Biophysique Case 252,
13397 Marseille Cedex 13,
Accepted: 15 January 1996
Over a limited range of scale, the dendritic branching of many neurons is fractal. We propose a growth model, which accounts for the basic phenomena of neural growth, and reproduces such fractal structures. In the model, fibrillar proteins diffusing into the cell interact at the boundary with chemoattractant molecules coming from outside to shape the cell. In a parameter range where growth is limited by the diffusion of chemoattractant molecules, diffuse fractal dendritic trees are obtained, analogous to DLA aggregates. For time scales in which growth is limited by the rate of motion of fibrillar proteins, fractal dentritic trees form, but growth is localized to certain surface regions on the shape, which resemble experimental growth cones.
PACS: 82.20.Wt – Computational modeling; simulation / 87.10.+e – General, theoretical, and mathematical biophysics (including logic of biosystems, quantum biology, and relevant aspects of thermodynamics, information theory, cybernetics, and bionics) / 87.15.-v – Molecular biophysics
© EDP Sciences, 1996