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J Comput Phys. 2014 Aug 1;270:203-213.

A conservative algorithm for parabolic problems in domains with moving boundaries.

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Richard D. Berlin Center for Cell Analysis and Modeling, Department of Cell Biology, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, Connecticut 06030.


We describe a novel conservative algorithm for parabolic problems in domains with moving boundaries developed for modeling in cell biology. The spatial discretization is accomplished by applying Voronoi decomposition to a fixed rectangular grid. In the vicinity of the boundary, the procedure generates irregular Voronoi cells that conform to the domain shape and merge seamlessly with regular control volumes in the domain interior. Consequently, our algorithm is free of the CFL stability issue due to moving interfaces and does not involve cell-merging or mass redistribution. Local mass conservation is ensured by finite-volume discretization and natural-neighbor interpolation. Numerical experiments with two-dimensional geometries demonstrate exact mass conservation and indicate an order of convergence in space between one and two. The use of standard meshing techniques makes extension of the method to three dimensions conceptually straightforward.


cell migration; exact mass conservation; moving boundaries; numerical algorithm; parabolic equations

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