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AuthorByrne, Helen M. (2)Harrington, Heather A. (2)MacLean, Adam L. (2)Abate, Antonio (1)Baker, Ruth E. (1)View MoreJournalSIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics (2)Communications in Applied Mathematics and Computational Science (1)IMA Journal of Numerical Analysis (1)Journal of Computational Physics (1)Journal of Fluid Mechanics (1)View MoreKAUST Grant Number

KUK-C1-013-04 (18)

PublisherSociety for Industrial & Applied Mathematics (SIAM) (4)American Chemical Society (ACS) (2)Cambridge University Press (CUP) (2)Elsevier BV (2)Springer Nature (2)View MoreSubjectAdaptive step-size control (1)Adsorption kinetics (1)Algebraic methods (1)Asymptotic analysis (1)Bayesian inference (1)View MoreTypeArticle (17)Book Chapter (1)Year (Issue Date)
2015 (18)

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Mathematical and Statistical Techniques for Systems Medicine: The Wnt Signaling Pathway as a Case Study

MacLean, Adam L.; Harrington, Heather A.; Stumpf, Michael P. H.; Byrne, Helen M. (Methods in Molecular Biology, Springer Nature, 2015-12-16) [Book Chapter]

The last decade has seen an explosion in models that describe phenomena in systems medicine. Such models are especially useful for studying signaling pathways, such as the Wnt pathway. In this chapter we use the Wnt pathway to showcase current mathematical and statistical techniques that enable modelers to gain insight into (models of) gene regulation and generate testable predictions. We introduce a range of modeling frameworks, but focus on ordinary differential equation (ODE) models since they remain the most widely used approach in systems biology and medicine and continue to offer great potential. We present methods for the analysis of a single model, comprising applications of standard dynamical systems approaches such as nondimensionalization, steady state, asymptotic and sensitivity analysis, and more recent statistical and algebraic approaches to compare models with data. We present parameter estimation and model comparison techniques, focusing on Bayesian analysis and coplanarity via algebraic geometry. Our intention is that this (non-exhaustive) review may serve as a useful starting point for the analysis of models in systems medicine.

Channelization of plumes beneath ice shelves

Dallaston, M. C.; Hewitt, I. J.; Wells, A. J. (Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2015-11-11) [Article]

© 2015 Cambridge University Press. We study a simplified model of ice-ocean interaction beneath a floating ice shelf, and investigate the possibility for channels to form in the ice shelf base due to spatial variations in conditions at the grounding line. The model combines an extensional thin-film description of viscous ice flow in the shelf, with melting at its base driven by a turbulent ocean plume. Small transverse perturbations to the one-dimensional steady state are considered, driven either by ice thickness or subglacial discharge variations across the grounding line. Either forcing leads to the growth of channels downstream, with melting driven by locally enhanced ocean velocities, and thus heat transfer. Narrow channels are smoothed out due to turbulent mixing in the ocean plume, leading to a preferred wavelength for channel growth. In the absence of perturbations at the grounding line, linear stability analysis suggests that the one-dimensional state is stable to initial perturbations, chiefly due to the background ice advection.

An investigation of the influence of extracellular matrix anisotropy and cell–matrix interactions on tissue architecture

Dyson, R. J.; Green, J. E. F.; Whiteley, J. P.; Byrne, H. M. (Journal of Mathematical Biology, Springer Nature, 2015-09-02) [Article]

© 2015 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg Mechanical interactions between cells and the fibrous extracellular matrix (ECM) in which they reside play a key role in tissue development. Mechanical cues from the environment (such as stress, strain and fibre orientation) regulate a range of cell behaviours, including proliferation, differentiation and motility. In turn, the ECM structure is affected by cells exerting forces on the matrix which result in deformation and fibre realignment. In this paper we develop a mathematical model to investigate this mechanical feedback between cells and the ECM. We consider a three-phase mixture of collagen, culture medium and cells, and formulate a system of partial differential equations which represents conservation of mass and momentum for each phase. This modelling framework takes into account the anisotropic mechanical properties of the collagen gel arising from its fibrous microstructure. We also propose a cell–collagen interaction force which depends upon fibre orientation and collagen density. We use a combination of numerical and analytical techniques to study the influence of cell–ECM interactions on pattern formation in tissues. Our results illustrate the wide range of structures which may be formed, and how those that emerge depend upon the importance of cell–ECM interactions.

A spatially-averaged mathematical model of kidney branching morphogenesis

Zubkov, V.S.; Combes, A.N.; Short, K.M.; Lefevre, J.; Hamilton, N.A.; Smyth, I.M.; Little, M.H.; Byrne, H.M. (Journal of Theoretical Biology, Elsevier BV, 2015-08) [Article]

© 2015 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Kidney development is initiated by the outgrowth of an epithelial ureteric bud into a population of mesenchymal cells. Reciprocal morphogenetic responses between these two populations generate a highly branched epithelial ureteric tree with the mesenchyme differentiating into nephrons, the functional units of the kidney. While we understand some of the mechanisms involved, current knowledge fails to explain the variability of organ sizes and nephron endowment in mice and humans. Here we present a spatially-averaged mathematical model of kidney morphogenesis in which the growth of the two key populations is described by a system of time-dependant ordinary differential equations. We assume that branching is symmetric and is invoked when the number of epithelial cells per tip reaches a threshold value. This process continues until the number of mesenchymal cells falls below a critical value that triggers cessation of branching. The mathematical model and its predictions are validated against experimentally quantified C57Bl6 mouse embryonic kidneys. Numerical simulations are performed to determine how the final number of branches changes as key system parameters are varied (such as the growth rate of tip cells, mesenchyme cells, or component cell population exit rate). Our results predict that the developing kidney responds differently to loss of cap and tip cells. They also indicate that the final number of kidney branches is less sensitive to changes in the growth rate of the ureteric tip cells than to changes in the growth rate of the mesenchymal cells. By inference, increasing the growth rate of mesenchymal cells should maximise branch number. Our model also provides a framework for predicting the branching outcome when ureteric tip or mesenchyme cells change behaviour in response to different genetic or environmental developmental stresses.

Strongly coupled interaction between a ridge of fluid and an inviscid airflow

Paterson, C.; Wilson, S. K.; Duffy, B. R. (Physics of Fluids, AIP Publishing, 2015-07) [Article]

© 2015 AIP Publishing LLC. The behaviour of a steady thin sessile or pendent ridge of fluid on an inclined planar substrate which is strongly coupled to the external pressure gradient arising from an inviscid airflow parallel to the substrate far from the ridge is described. When the substrate is nearly horizontal, a very wide ridge can be supported against gravity by capillary and/or external pressure forces; otherwise, only a narrower (but still wide) ridge can be supported. Classical thin-aerofoil theory is adapted to obtain the governing singular integro-differential equation for the profile of the ridge in each case. Attention is focused mainly on the case of a very wide sessile ridge. The effect of strengthening the airflow is to push a pinned ridge down near to its edges and to pull it up near to its middle. At a critical airflow strength, the upslope contact angle reaches the receding contact angle at which the upslope contact line de-pins, and continuing to increase the airflow strength beyond this critical value results in the de-pinned ridge becoming narrower, thicker, and closer to being symmetric in the limit of a strong airflow. The effect of tilting the substrate is to skew a pinned ridge in the downslope direction. Depending on the values of the advancing and receding contact angles, the ridge may first de-pin at either the upslope or the downslope contact line but, in general, eventually both contact lines de-pin. The special cases in which only one of the contact lines de-pins are also considered. It is also shown that the behaviour of a very wide pendent ridge is qualitatively similar to that of a very wide sessile ridge, while the important qualitative difference between the behaviour of a very wide ridge and a narrower ridge is that, in general, for the latter one or both of the contact lines may never de-pin.

Theoretical Analysis of the Relative Significance of Thermodynamic and Kinetic Dispersion in the dc and ac Voltammetry of Surface-Confined Molecules

Morris, Graham P.; Baker, Ruth E.; Gillow, Kathryn; Davis, Jason J.; Gavaghan, David J.; Bond, Alan M. (Langmuir, American Chemical Society (ACS), 2015-05-05) [Article]

© 2015 American Chemical Society. Commonly, significant discrepancies are reported in theoretical and experimental comparisons of dc voltammograms derived from a monolayer or close to monolayer coverage of redox-active surface-confined molecules. For example, broader-than-predicted voltammetric wave shapes are attributed to the thermodynamic or kinetic dispersion derived from distributions in reversible potentials (E<sup>0</sup>) and electrode kinetics (k<sup>0</sup>), respectively. The recent availability of experimentally estimated distributions of E<sup>0</sup> and k<sup>0</sup> values derived from the analysis of data for small numbers of surface-confined modified azurin metalloprotein molecules now allows more realistic modeling to be undertaken, assuming the same distributions apply under conditions of high surface coverage relevant to voltammetric experiments. In this work, modeling based on conventional and stochastic kinetic theory is considered, and the computationally far more efficient conventional model is shown to be equivalent to the stochastic one when large numbers of molecules are present. Perhaps unexpectedly, when experimentally determined distributions of E<sup>0</sup> and k<sup>0</sup> are input into the model, thermodynamic dispersion is found to be unimportant and only kinetic dispersion contributes significantly to the broadening of dc voltammograms. Simulations of ac voltammetric experiments lead to the conclusion that the ac method, particularly when the analysis of kinetically very sensitive higher-order harmonics is undertaken, are far more sensitive to kinetic dispersion than the dc method. ac methods are therefore concluded to provide a potentially superior strategy for addressing the inverse problem of determining the k<sup>0</sup> distribution that could give rise to the apparent anomalies in surface-confined voltammetry.

Convergence of methods for coupling of microscopic and mesoscopic reaction–diffusion simulations

Flegg, Mark B.; Hellander, Stefan; Erban, Radek (Journal of Computational Physics, Elsevier BV, 2015-05) [Article]

© 2015 Elsevier Inc. In this paper, three multiscale methods for coupling of mesoscopic (compartment-based) and microscopic (molecular-based) stochastic reaction-diffusion simulations are investigated. Two of the three methods that will be discussed in detail have been previously reported in the literature; the two-regime method (TRM) and the compartment-placement method (CPM). The third method that is introduced and analysed in this paper is called the ghost cell method (GCM), since it works by constructing a "ghost cell" in which molecules can disappear and jump into the compartment-based simulation. Presented is a comparison of sources of error. The convergent properties of this error are studied as the time step δ. t (for updating the molecular-based part of the model) approaches zero. It is found that the error behaviour depends on another fundamental computational parameter h, the compartment size in the mesoscopic part of the model. Two important limiting cases, which appear in applications, are considered:. (i)δt→0 and h is fixed;(ii)δt→0 and h→0 such that δt/h is fixed. The error for previously developed approaches (the TRM and CPM) converges to zero only in the limiting case (ii), but not in case (i). It is shown that the error of the GCM converges in the limiting case (i). Thus the GCM is superior to previous coupling techniques if the mesoscopic description is much coarser than the microscopic part of the model.

Revisionist integral deferred correction with adaptive step-size control

Christlieb, Andrew; Macdonald, Colin; Ong, Benjamin; Spiteri, Raymond (Communications in Applied Mathematics and Computational Science, Mathematical Sciences Publishers, 2015-03-27) [Article]

© 2015 Mathematical Sciences Publishers. Adaptive step-size control is a critical feature for the robust and efficient numerical solution of initial-value problems in ordinary differential equations. In this paper, we show that adaptive step-size control can be incorporated within a family of parallel time integrators known as revisionist integral deferred correction (RIDC) methods. The RIDC framework allows for various strategies to implement stepsize control, and we report results from exploring a few of them.

Saffman-Taylor fingers with kinetic undercooling

Gardiner, Bennett P. J.; McCue, Scott W.; Dallaston, Michael C.; Moroney, Timothy J. (Physical Review E, American Physical Society (APS), 2015-02-23) [Article]

© 2015 American Physical Society. The mathematical model of a steadily propagating Saffman-Taylor finger in a Hele-Shaw channel has applications to two-dimensional interacting streamer discharges which are aligned in a periodic array. In the streamer context, the relevant regularization on the interface is not provided by surface tension but instead has been postulated to involve a mechanism equivalent to kinetic undercooling, which acts to penalize high velocities and prevent blow-up of the unregularized solution. Previous asymptotic results for the Hele-Shaw finger problem with kinetic undercooling suggest that for a given value of the kinetic undercooling parameter, there is a discrete set of possible finger shapes, each analytic at the nose and occupying a different fraction of the channel width. In the limit in which the kinetic undercooling parameter vanishes, the fraction for each family approaches 1/2, suggesting that this "selection" of 1/2 by kinetic undercooling is qualitatively similar to the well-known analog with surface tension. We treat the numerical problem of computing these Saffman-Taylor fingers with kinetic undercooling, which turns out to be more subtle than the analog with surface tension, since kinetic undercooling permits finger shapes which are corner-free but not analytic. We provide numerical evidence for the selection mechanism by setting up a problem with both kinetic undercooling and surface tension and numerically taking the limit that the surface tension vanishes.

Parameter-free methods distinguish Wnt pathway models and guide design of experiments

MacLean, Adam L.; Rosen, Zvi; Byrne, Helen M.; Harrington, Heather A. (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2015-02-17) [Article]

The canonical Wnt signaling pathway, mediated by β-catenin, is crucially involved in development, adult stem cell tissue maintenance, and a host of diseases including cancer. We analyze existing mathematical models of Wnt and compare them to a new Wnt signaling model that targets spatial localization; our aim is to distinguish between the models and distill biological insight from them. Using Bayesian methods we infer parameters for each model from mammalian Wnt signaling data and find that all models can fit this time course. We appeal to algebraic methods (concepts from chemical reaction network theory and matroid theory) to analyze the models without recourse to specific parameter values. These approaches provide insight into aspects of Wnt regulation: the new model, via control of shuttling and degradation parameters, permits multiple stable steady states corresponding to stem-like vs. committed cell states in the differentiation hierarchy. Our analysis also identifies groups of variables that should be measured to fully characterize and discriminate between competing models, and thus serves as a guide for performing minimal experiments for model comparison.

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