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Mathematical Biosciences & Engineering

August 2017 , Volume 14 , Issue 4

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A chaotic bursting-spiking transition in a pancreatic beta-cells system: observation of an interior glucose-induced crisis
Jorge Duarte, Cristina Januário and Nuno Martins
2017, 14(4): 821-842 doi: 10.3934/mbe.2017045 +[Abstract](212) +[HTML](7) +[PDF](1661.1KB)

Nonlinear systems are commonly able to display abrupt qualitative changes (or transitions) in the dynamics. A particular type of these transitions occurs when the size of a chaotic attractor suddenly changes. In this article, we present such a transition through the observation of a chaotic interior crisis in the Deng bursting-spiking model for the glucose-induced electrical activity of pancreatic $β $-cells. To this chaos-chaos transition corresponds precisely the change between the bursting and spiking dynamics, which are central and key dynamical regimes that the Deng model is able to perform. We provide a description of the crisis mechanism at the bursting-spiking transition point in terms of time series variations and based on certain amplitudes of invariant intervals associated with return maps. Using symbolic dynamics, we are able to accurately compute the points of a curve representing the transition between the bursting and spiking regimes in a biophysical meaningfully parameter space. The analysis of the chaotic interior crisis is complemented by means of topological invariants with the computation of the topological entropy and the maximum Lyapunov exponent. Considering very recent developments in the literature, we construct analytical solutions triggering the bursting-spiking transition in the Deng model. This study provides an illustration of how an integrated approach, involving numerical evidences and theoretical reasoning within the theory of dynamical systems, can directly enhance our understanding of biophysically motivated models.

A two-patch prey-predator model with predator dispersal driven by the predation strength
Yun Kang, Sourav Kumar Sasmal and Komi Messan
2017, 14(4): 843-880 doi: 10.3934/mbe.2017046 +[Abstract](215) +[HTML](3) +[PDF](1429.9KB)

Foraging movements of predator play an important role in population dynamics of prey-predator systems, which have been considered as mechanisms that contribute to spatial self-organization of prey and predator. In nature, there are many examples of prey-predator interactions where prey is immobile while predator disperses between patches non-randomly through different factors such as stimuli following the encounter of a prey. In this work, we formulate a Rosenzweig-MacArthur prey-predator two patch model with mobility only in predator and the assumption that predators move towards patches with more concentrated prey-predator interactions. We provide completed local and global analysis of our model. Our analytical results combined with bifurcation diagrams suggest that: (1) dispersal may stabilize or destabilize the coupled system; (2) dispersal may generate multiple interior equilibria that lead to rich bistable dynamics or may destroy interior equilibria that lead to the extinction of predator in one patch or both patches; (3) Under certain conditions, the large dispersal can promote the permanence of the system. In addition, we compare the dynamics of our model to the classic two patch model to obtain a better understanding how different dispersal strategies may have different impacts on the dynamics and spatial patterns.

A proton therapy model using discrete difference equations with an example of treating hepatocellular carcinoma
Erin N. Bodine and K. Lars Monia
2017, 14(4): 881-899 doi: 10.3934/mbe.2017047 +[Abstract](461) +[HTML](1) +[PDF](747.0KB)

Proton therapy is a type of radiation therapy used to treat cancer. It provides more localized particle exposure than other types of radiotherapy (e.g., x-ray and electron) thus reducing damage to tissue surrounding a tumor and reducing unwanted side effects. We have developed a novel discrete difference equation model of the spatial and temporal dynamics of cancer and healthy cells before, during, and after the application of a proton therapy treatment course. Specifically, the model simulates the growth and diffusion of the cancer and healthy cells in and surrounding a tumor over one spatial dimension (tissue depth) and the treatment of the tumor with discrete bursts of proton radiation. We demonstrate how to use data from in vitro and clinical studies to parameterize the model. Specifically, we use data from studies of Hepatocellular carcinoma, a common form of liver cancer. Using the parameterized model we compare the ability of different clinically used treatment courses to control the tumor. Our results show that treatment courses which use conformal proton therapy (targeting the tumor from multiple angles) provides better control of the tumor while using lower treatment doses than a non-conformal treatment course, and thus should be recommend for use when feasible.

Competitive exclusion in an infection-age structured vector-host epidemic model
Yanxia Dang, Zhipeng Qiu and Xuezhi Li
2017, 14(4): 901-931 doi: 10.3934/mbe.2017048 +[Abstract](205) +[HTML](5) +[PDF](541.2KB)

The competitive exclusion principle means that the strain with the largest reproduction number persists while eliminating all other strains with suboptimal reproduction numbers. In this paper, we extend the competitive exclusion principle to a multi-strain vector-borne epidemic model with age-since-infection. The model includes both incubation age of the exposed hosts and infection age of the infectious hosts, both of which describe the different removal rates in the latent period and the variable infectiousness in the infectious period, respectively. The formulas for the reproduction numbers \begin{document} $\mathcal R^j_0$ \end{document} of strain \begin{document} $j,j=1,2,···, n$ \end{document}, are obtained from the biological meanings of the model. The strain \begin{document} $j$ \end{document} can not invade the system if \begin{document} $\mathcal R^j_0<1$ \end{document}, and the disease free equilibrium is globally asymptotically stable if \begin{document} $\max_j\{\mathcal R^j_0\}<1$ \end{document}. If \begin{document} $\mathcal R^{j_0}_0>1$ \end{document}, then a single-strain equilibrium \begin{document} $\mathcal{E}_{j_0}$ \end{document} exists, and the single strain equilibrium is locally asymptotically stable when \begin{document} $\mathcal R^{j_0}_0>1$ \end{document} and \begin{document} $\mathcal R^{j_0}_0>\mathcal R^{j}_0,j≠ j_0$ \end{document}. Finally, by using a Lyapunov function, sufficient conditions are further established for the global asymptotical stability of the single-strain equilibrium corresponding to strain \begin{document} $j_0$ \end{document}, which means strain \begin{document} $j_0$ \end{document} eliminates all other stains as long as \begin{document} $\mathcal R^{j}_0/\mathcal R^{j_0}_0<b_j/b_{j_0}<1,j≠ j_0$ \end{document}, where \begin{document} $b_j$ \end{document} denotes the probability of a given susceptible vector being transmitted by an infected host with strain \begin{document} $j$ \end{document}.

A numerical framework for computing steady states of structured population models and their stability
Inom Mirzaev and David M. Bortz
2017, 14(4): 933-952 doi: 10.3934/mbe.2017049 +[Abstract](292) +[HTML](2) +[PDF](4099.0KB)

Structured population models are a class of general evolution equations which are widely used in the study of biological systems. Many theoretical methods are available for establishing existence and stability of steady states of general evolution equations. However, except for very special cases, finding an analytical form of stationary solutions for evolution equations is a challenging task. In the present paper, we develop a numerical framework for computing approximations to stationary solutions of general evolution equations, which can \emph{also} be used to produce approximate existence and stability regions for steady states. In particular, we use the Trotter-Kato Theorem to approximate the infinitesimal generator of an evolution equation on a finite dimensional space, which in turn reduces the evolution equation into a system of ordinary differential equations. Consequently, we approximate and study the asymptotic behavior of stationary solutions. We illustrate the convergence of our numerical framework by applying it to a linear Sinko-Streifer structured population model for which the exact form of the steady state is known. To further illustrate the utility of our approach, we apply our framework to nonlinear population balance equation, which is an extension of well-known Smoluchowski coagulation-fragmentation model to biological populations. We also demonstrate that our numerical framework can be used to gain insight about the theoretical stability of the stationary solutions of the evolution equations. Furthermore, the open source Python program that we have developed for our numerical simulations is freely available from our GitHub repository (

A tridiagonal patch model of bacteria inhabiting a Nanofabricated landscape
Robert Stephen Cantrell, Brian Coomes and Yifan Sha
2017, 14(4): 953-973 doi: 10.3934/mbe.2017050 +[Abstract](188) +[HTML](3) +[PDF](396.8KB)

In this paper we employ a discrete-diffusion modeling framework to examine a system inspired by the nano-ecology experiments on the bacterium Escherichia coli reported upon in Keymer et al. (2006). In these experiments, the bacteria inhabit a linear array of 85" microhabitat patches (MHP's)", linked by comparatively thinner corridors through which bacteria may pass between adjacent MHP's. Each MHP is connected to its own source of nutrient substrate, which flows into the MHP at a rate that can be controlled in the experiment. Logistic dynamics are assumed within each MHP, and nutrient substrate flow determines the prediction of the within MHP dynamics in the absence of bacteria dispersal between patches. Patches where the substrate flow rate is sufficiently high sustain the bacteria in the absence of between patch movement and may be regarded as sources, while those with insufficient substrate flow lead to the extinction of the bacteria in the within patch environment and may be regarded as sinks. We examine the role of dispersal in determining the predictions of the model under source-sink dynamics.

Stability analysis on an economic epidemiological model with vaccination
Wisdom S. Avusuglo, Kenzu Abdella and Wenying Feng
2017, 14(4): 975-999 doi: 10.3934/mbe.2017051 +[Abstract](365) +[HTML](3) +[PDF](819.0KB)

In this paper, an economic epidemiological model with vaccination is studied. The stability of the endemic steady-state is analyzed and some bifurcation properties of the system are investigated. It is established that the system exhibits saddle-point and period-doubling bifurcations when adult susceptible individuals are vaccinated. Furthermore, it is shown that susceptible individuals also have the tendency of opting for more number of contacts even if the vaccine is inefficacious and thus causes the disease endemic to increase in the long run. Results from sensitivity analysis with specific disease parameters are also presented. Finally, it is shown that the qualitative behaviour of the system is affected by contact levels.

Modeling environmental transmission of MAP infection in dairy cows
Kokum R. De Silva, Shigetoshi Eda and Suzanne Lenhart
2017, 14(4): 1001-1017 doi: 10.3934/mbe.2017052 +[Abstract](358) +[HTML](3) +[PDF](1071.6KB)

Johne's disease is caused by Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis(MAP). It is a chronic, progressive, and inflammatory disease which has a long incubation period. One main problem with the disease is the reduction of milk production in infected dairy cows. In our study we develop a system of ordinary differential equations to describe the dynamics of MAP infection in a dairy farm. This model includes the progression of the disease and the age structure of the cows. To investigate the effect of persistence of this bacteria on the farm on transmission in our model, we include environmental compartments, representing the pathogen input in an explicit way. The effect of indirect transmission from the bacteria in the environment and the culling of high-shedding adults can be seen in the numerical simulations. Since culling usually only happens once a year, we include a novel feature in the simulations with a discrete action of removing high-shedding adults once a year. We conclude that with culling of high shedders even at a high rate, the infection will persist in the modeled farm setting.

Global stability of infectious disease models with contact rate as a function of prevalence index
Cruz Vargas-De-León and Alberto d'Onofrio
2017, 14(4): 1019-1033 doi: 10.3934/mbe.2017053 +[Abstract](226) +[HTML](1) +[PDF](410.1KB)

In this paper, we consider a SEIR epidemiological model with information-related changes in contact patterns. One of the main features of the model is that it includes an information variable, a negative feedback on the behavior of susceptible subjects, and a function that describes the role played by the infectious size in the information dynamics. Here we focus in the case of delayed information. By using suitable assumptions, we analyze the global stability of the endemic equilibrium point and disease-free equilibrium point. Our approach is applicable to global stability of the endemic equilibrium of the previously defined SIR and SIS models with feedback on behavior of susceptible subjects.

The spatial dynamics of a zebrafish model with cross-diffusions
Hongyong Zhao, Qianjin Zhang and Linhe Zhu
2017, 14(4): 1035-1054 doi: 10.3934/mbe.2017054 +[Abstract](214) +[HTML](5) +[PDF](2810.4KB)

This paper investigates the spatial dynamics of a zebrafish model with cross-diffusions. Sufficient conditions for Hopf bifurcation and Turing bifurcation are obtained by analyzing the associated characteristic equation. In addition, we deduce amplitude equations based on multiple-scale analysis, and further by analyzing amplitude equations five categories of Turing patterns are gained. Finally, numerical simulation results are presented to validate the theoretical analysis. Furthermore, some examples demonstrate that cross-diffusions have an effect on the selection of patterns, which explains the diversity of zebrafish pattern very well.

A surface model of nonlinear, non-steady-state phloem transport
Youcef Mammeri and Damien Sellier
2017, 14(4): 1055-1069 doi: 10.3934/mbe.2017055 +[Abstract](166) +[HTML](2) +[PDF](5425.3KB)

Phloem transport is the process by which carbohydrates produced by photosynthesis in the leaves get distributed in a plant. According to Münch, the osmotically generated hydrostatic phloem pressure is the force driving the long-distance transport of photoassimilates. Following Thompson and Holbrook[35]'s approach, we develop a mathematical model of coupled water-carbohydrate transport. It is first proven that the model presented here preserves the positivity. The model is then applied to simulate the flow of phloem sap for an organic tree shape, on a 3D surface and in a channel with orthotropic hydraulic properties. Those features represent an significant advance in modelling the pathway for carbohydrate transport in trees.

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