Mathematical modelling and simulation of stress fibers in living cells

Stress fibres are contractile bundles of actin filaments and associated proteins in living
cells. In this project we are interested in understanding how the internal structure of stress
fibres change over time giving rise to tension and contraction.
We aim to answer the questions: How does the contractile force depend on relevant model
parameters? And, what are the effective contractile force and intra-bundle viscosity as a
function of the model parameters in an appropriate homogenisation limit (a 1D continuum
model) of the agent based model?
To answer these questions we will: perform a computational study of the contractile force
generated by the stress fibre. And derive an appropriate homogenisation limit of the agent
based model in the regime where actin fibres are short – and their abundance large.

Timothy Ryall

University of Queensland

Timothy Ryall is an undergraduate student, at the University of Queensland, studying a Bachelor of Mathematics and Computer Science. His particular interest is the modelling and simulation of biological processes, which arose from his fascination with real world applications of problem solving.

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