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posted on 11.05.2020, 08:09 authored by Federica Bubba, Tommaso Lorenzi, Fiona R. Macfarlane
We present a discrete model of chemotaxis whereby cells responding to a chemoattractant are seen as individual agents whose movement is described through a set of rules that result in a biased random walk. In order to take into account possible alterations in cellular motility observed at high cell densities (i.e. volume-filling), we let the probabilities of cell movement be modulated by a decaying function of the cell density. We formally show that a general form of the celebrated Patlak–Keller–Segel (PKS) model of chemotaxis can be formally derived as the appropriate continuum limit of this discrete model. The family of steady-state solutions of such a generalized PKS model are characterized and the conditions for the emergence of spatial patterns are studied via linear stability analysis. Moreover, we carry out a systematic quantitative comparison between numerical simulations of the discrete model and numerical solutions of the corresponding PKS model, both in one and in two spatial dimensions. The results obtained indicate that there is excellent quantitative agreement between the spatial patterns produced by the two models. Finally, we numerically show that the outcomes of the two models faithfully replicate those of the classical PKS model in a suitable asymptotic regime.