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Mathematical Modelling and Data Analysis

Department 8.4

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Title: Active Brownian agents with concentration-dependent chemotactic sensitivity
Author(s): M. Meyer, L. Schimansky-Geier and P. Romanczuk
Journal: Phys. Rev. E
Year: 2014
Volume: 89
Issue: 2
Pages: 022711
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.89.022711
ISSN: 1550-2376
Web URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25353513
Keywords: ,Biological,Biomimetic Materials,Biomimetic Materials: chemistry,Biomimetic Materials: metabolism,Chemical,Chemotaxis,Chemotaxis: drug effects,Chemotaxis: physiology,Computer Simulation,Diffusion,Dose-Response Relationship,Drug,Escherichia coli,Escherichia coli: physiology,Models,Statistical,non-linear dynamics
Tags: 8.41, SPP
Abstract: We study a biologically motivated model of overdamped, autochemotactic Brownian agents with concentration-dependent chemotactic sensitivity. The agents in our model move stochastically and produce a chemical ligand at their current position. The ligand concentration obeys a reaction-diffusion equation and acts as a chemoattractant for the agents, which bias their motion towards higher concentrations of the dynamically altered chemical field. We explore the impact of concentration-dependent response to chemoattractant gradients on large-scale pattern formation, by deriving a coarse-grained macroscopic description of the individual-based model, and compare the conditions for emergence of inhomogeneous solutions for different variants of the chemotactic sensitivity. We focus primarily on the so-called receptor-law sensitivity, which models a nonlinear decrease of chemotactic sensitivity with increasing ligand concentration. Our results reveal qualitative differences between the receptor law, the constant chemotactic response, and the so-called log law, with respect to stability of the homogeneous solution, as well as the emergence of different patterns (labyrinthine structures, clusters, and bubbles) via spinodal decomposition or nucleation. We discuss two limiting cases, where the model can be reduced to the dynamics of single species: (I) the agent density governed by a density-dependent effective diffusion coefficient and (II) the ligand field with an effective bistable, time-dependent reaction rate. In the end, we turn to single clusters of agents, studying domain growth and determining mean characteristics of the stationary inhomogeneous state. Analytical results are confirmed and extended by large-scale GPU simulations of the individual based model.

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