Mathematical biology: dynamics of cell migration, population interaction models
Projects will involve solving mathematical problems with applications in cell migration dynamics.
TREND participants working in this project will create predictive models governed by particle systems and differential equations for the investigation of the dynamics of migration of cells under forces. The modeling aspects of the project will be guided by the experiments run by the Losert lab and Prof. William Bentley’s lab at UMCP Bioengineering on quorum sensing.
Quorum sensing (QS) enables coordinated, population-wide behavior. QS-active bacteria communicate their number density using autoinducers which they synthesize, collect, and interpret. This project draws from Prof. Trivisa’s work constructing QS models, which has provided mathematically a link between flocking behavior, commonly observed in fish and birds, and bacteria chemotaxis and QS by constructing a phenomenological model of population-scale QS-mediated phenomena. With a relatively simple system of ordinary differential equations, the model tracks the dynamics of cell position, cell velocity, QS-mediated protein expression, and surrounding concentration of autoinducers while analyzing the interactions between cell movement and QS-protein expression.