Modeling neuron growth using isogeometric collocation based phase field method

Sci Rep. 2022 May 17;12(1):8120. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-12073-z.


We present a new computational framework of neuron growth based on the phase field method and develop an open-source software package called “NeuronGrowth_IGAcollocation”. Neurons consist of a cell body, dendrites, and axons. Axons and dendrites are long processes extending from the cell body and enabling information transfer to and from other neurons. There is high variation in neuron morphology based on their location and function, thus increasing the complexity in mathematical modeling of neuron growth. In this paper, we propose a novel phase field model with isogeometric collocation to simulate different stages of neuron growth by considering the effect of tubulin. The stages modeled include lamellipodia formation, initial neurite outgrowth, axon differentiation, and dendrite formation considering the effect of intracellular transport of tubulin on neurite outgrowth. Through comparison with experimental observations, we can demonstrate qualitatively and quantitatively similar reproduction of neuron morphologies at different stages of growth and allow extension towards the formation of neurite networks.

PMID:35581253 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-022-12073-z


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