Department of Mathematics and Statistics Professor Kerry Landman


Multiscale modelling of cell migration in developmental biology (ARC funding):

Cellular automata model of cells invading from the left to right. Two cells have been tagged to follow their movements over time.

Cell tracks behind and at the wavefront of a wound healing cell migration assay.The ones at the wavefront (right) exhibit more movement

Directed cell migration plays a key role throughout our lives from embryonic development to death. Currently there is no general model of directed cell migration that combines the key features of cell-scale interactions. Such a model is essential to understanding the fundamental processes that occur in developmental biology. This project will develop a new multi-scale general model using several mathematical techniques, capable of tracking an individual cell as it interacts with other cells and its environment, as well as capturing large-scale features of migrating cell populations. By reproducing observed cell migration patterns, this project will provide interpretative and predictive tools to cellular phenomena in developmental biology.

Biomathematical analysis of migration of neural crest cells to form the enteric nervous system (NHMRC funding):

A population of neural crest cells invades the intestinal tissues from left to right during the development of the nervous system of the intestine

Cellular automata simulation of the neural crest invasion of the gut

A fundamental and global understanding of cell migration/invasion processes in the developing enteric (intestinal) nervous system is required. Our experimental collaborators are using confocal time-lapse microscopy and cell tracking to reveal individual neural crest (NC) cell behaviour during colonisation of the gut. From this data we will formulate the cell motility rules mathematically and develop computational models to describe the single cell-scale migratory behaviour from which will emerge population-scale behaviour. We will alter multiple variables computationally to produce, for example virtual Hirschsprung's Disease. The insights gained using simulation will feed back iteratively into the design of new testable experiments.

Cell migration and proliferation during monolayer formation and wound healing (ARC funding):

Images of a wound-healing assay experiment using mice 3T3 fibroblast cells taken over 24 hours.

Oxygen and cell density profiles as a function of position x at various times t in a vascularising scaffold.

Organ transplantation is only available to only the lucky few. Tissue engineering of soft, functional tissues offers the potential to replace missing or non-functioning organs. The interaction of living cells with surfaces is important in tissue engineering. We are characterising and modelling the attachment, migration and proliferation of cells on materials used for tissue engineering.

My recent publications in mathematical biology are listed

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