A phase field model for neural cell chemotropism
1 Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University - Princeton, NJ, USA
2 Physics Department, Rutherford Building, McGill University - 3600 rue University, Montréal, Québec, Canada H3A 2T8
Received: 14 March 2013
Accepted: 25 March 2013
Chemotropism is the action of targeting a part of the cell by means of chemical mediators and cues, and subsequently delimiting the pathway that it should undertake. In a neural cell, this initiates axonal elongation. Herein we model this growth, where chemotropic forcing leads the axon, by a phase field method utilizing two dynamical fields assigned respectively to the cell and to its leading edge. Additionally we quantify the condition for the retraction of the axon which takes place when the cell fails to form a synaptic connection.
PACS: 64.60.De – Statistical mechanics of model systems (Ising model, Potts model, field-theory models, Monte Carlo techniques, etc.) / Statistical mechanics of model systems (Ising model, Potts model, field-theory models, Monte Carlo techniques, etc.) – / 87.16.A- – / Theory, modeling, and simulations – / 87.16.Mq – / Morphology of nerve cells –
© EPLA, 2013