Lewis, A. H.; Aarts, D. G. A. L.; Howell, P. D.; Majumdar, A.(Studies in Applied Mathematics, Wiley, 2017-01-16)[Article]
We study planar nematic equilibria on a two-dimensional annulus with strong and weak tangent anchoring, in the Oseen–Frank theoretical framework. We analyze a radially invariant defect-free state and compute analytic stability criteria for this state in terms of the elastic anisotropy, annular aspect ratio, and anchoring strength. In the strong anchoring case, we define and characterize a new spiral-like equilibrium which emerges as the defect-free state loses stability. In the weak anchoring case, we compute stability diagrams that quantify the response of the defect-free state to radial and azimuthal perturbations. We study sector equilibria on sectors of an annulus, including the effects of weak anchoring and elastic anisotropy, giving novel insights into the correlation between preferred numbers of boundary defects and the geometry. We numerically demonstrate that these sector configurations can approximate experimentally observed equilibria with boundary defects.
Woolley, Thomas E.; Baker, Ruth E.; Maini, Philip K.(Theory and Applications of Computability, Springer Nature, 2017-05-06)[Book Chapter]
Over 60 years have passed since Alan Turing first postulated a mechanism for biological pattern formation. Although Turing did not have the chance to extend his theories before his unfortunate death two years later, his work has not gone unnoticed. Indeed, many researchers have since taken up the gauntlet and extended his revolutionary and counter-intuitive ideas. Here, we reproduce the basics of his theory as well as review some of the recent generalisations and applications that have led our mathematical models to be closer representations of the biology than ever before. Finally, we take a look to the future and discuss open questions that not only show that there is still much life in the theory, but also that the best may be yet to come.
Kay, Sophie K.; Harrington, Heather A.; Shepherd, Sarah; Brennan, Keith; Dale, Trevor; Osborne, James M.; Gavaghan, David J.; Byrne, Helen M.(PLOS Computational Biology, Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2017-02-28)[Article]
The Notch pathway plays a vital role in determining whether cells in the intestinal epithelium adopt a secretory or an absorptive phenotype. Cell fate specification is coordinated via Notch’s interaction with the canonical Wnt pathway. Here, we propose a new mathematical model of the Notch and Wnt pathways, in which the Hes1 promoter acts as a hub for pathway crosstalk. Computational simulations of the model can assist in understanding how healthy intestinal tissue is maintained, and predict the likely consequences of biochemical knockouts upon cell fate selection processes. Chemical reaction network theory (CRNT) is a powerful, generalised framework which assesses the capacity of our model for monostability or multistability, by analysing properties of the underlying network structure without recourse to specific parameter values or functional forms for reaction rates. CRNT highlights the role of β-catenin in stabilising the Notch pathway and damping oscillations, demonstrating that Wnt-mediated actions on the Hes1 promoter can induce dynamic transitions in the Notch system, from multistability to monostability. Time-dependent model simulations of cell pairs reveal the stabilising influence of Wnt upon the Notch pathway, in which β-catenin- and Dsh-mediated action on the Hes1 promoter are key in shaping the subcellular dynamics. Where Notch-mediated transcription of Hes1 dominates, there is Notch oscillation and maintenance of fate flexibility; Wnt-mediated transcription of Hes1 favours bistability akin to cell fate selection. Cells could therefore regulate the proportion of Wnt- and Notch-mediated control of the Hes1 promoter to coordinate the timing of cell fate selection as they migrate through the intestinal epithelium and are subject to reduced Wnt stimuli. Furthermore, mutant cells characterised by hyperstimulation of the Wnt pathway may, through coupling with Notch, invert cell fate in neighbouring healthy cells, enabling an aberrant cell to maintain its neighbours in mitotically active states.
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