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J Math Biol. 2009 Mar;58(3):395-427. doi: 10.1007/s00285-008-0197-8. Epub 2008 Jun 18.

A one-dimensional model of cell diffusion and aggregation, incorporating volume filling and cell-to-cell adhesion.

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Austrian Academy of Sciences, Altenbergerstr. 69, 4040, Linz, Austria.


We develop and analyse a discrete model of cell motility in one dimension which incorporates the effects of volume filling and cell-to-cell adhesion. The formal continuum limit of the model is a nonlinear diffusion equation with a diffusivity which can become negative if the adhesion coefficient is sufficiently large. This appears to be related to the presence of spatial oscillations and the development of plateaus (pattern formation) in numerical solutions of the discrete model. A combination of stability analysis of the discrete equations and steady-state analysis of the limiting PDE (and a higher-order correction thereof) can be used to shed light on these and other qualitative predictions of the model.

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