Department of Mathematics


Modelling the motion and interaction of immune cells

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Model of the reticular network within the lymph node.

Within the immune system, triggering an immune response to an invading pathogen requires a specific rare immune cell (a T-cell) to encounter the pathogen (via a so-called antigen presenting cell). How these cells move thus determines the immune response time, and so is central to immune system function.

It has long been thought that these cells may simply move randomly (via a random walk) about the lymph nodes in order to facilitate these rare interactions. It has recently been proposed that instead, they move about on a structural network, called the reticular network, and that cell motion is either confined to, or guided by, this network.

This project considers the mathematics and implications of a model of immune cell motion on the reticular network rather than 3-space.

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Tcellpaths are sample paths from the T cell movement model on the network.

Researchers at The University of Auckland

External collaborator