Interdisciplinary Seminar in Nonlinear Science

Title: On Multiscale Approaches to Three-Dimensional Modeling of Morphogenesis
Speaker: Mark Alber
Speaker Info: University of Notre Dame
Brief Description:
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In this talk the foundation of a unified, object-oriented, three-dimensional biomodeling environment is presented, which allows one to integrate multiple submodels at scales from subcellular to those of tissues and organs. Our current implementation combines a modified discrete model from statistical mechanics, the Cellular Potts Model, with a continuum reaction-diffusion model and a state automaton with well- defined conditions for cell differentiation transitions to model genetic regulation. This environment allows us to rapidly and compactly create computational models of a class of complex developmental phenomena. To illustrate model development, we simulate a simplified version of the formation of the skeletal pattern in a growing embryonic vertebrate limb. We will also describe the first three-dimensional model of cell aggregation in Myxobacteria based on a short-range cell-cell communication. Myxobacteria are a model system for studying cell-cell interaction and organization preceeding differentiation. When starved, tens of thousands of Myxobacteria cells change their motility, align, stream and form aggregates, which then develop into fruiting bodies. While cell aggregation has canonically been modeled as the result of chemotaxis, growing evidence shows that Myxobacteria organization depends on a contact-mediated cell signaling mechanism. We demonstrate that the same 3D discrete stochastic model simulates for different values of parameters all different stages of cell aggregation: the formation of a traffic jam, which then triggers formation of an aggregation center culminating in a fruiting body formation.
Date: Friday, March 11, 2005
Time: 2:00PM
Where: Tech M416
Contact Person: William L. Kath
Contact email: kath@northwestern.edu
Contact Phone: 847-491-3904
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