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chemotaxis; angiogenesis; degenerate parabolic equations; kinetic equations; global weak solutions; blow-up
Modeling the movement of cells (bacteria, amoeba) is a long standing subject and partial differential equations have been used several times. The most classical and successful system was proposed by Patlak and Keller & Segel and is formed of parabolic or elliptic equations coupled through a drift term. This model exhibits a very deep mathematical structure because smooth solutions exist for small initial norm (in the appropriate space) and blow-up for large norms. This reflects experiments on bacteria like Escherichia coli or amoeba like Dictyostelium discoïdeum exhibiting pointwise concentrations. For human endothelial cells, several experiments show the formation of networks that can be interpreted as the initiation of angiogenesis. To recover such patterns a hydrodynamical model seems better adapted. The two systems can be unified by a kinetic approach that was proposed for Escherichia coli, based on more precise experiments showing a movement by ‘jump and tumble’. This nonlinear kinetic model is interesting by itself and the existence theory is not complete. It is also interesting from a scaling point of view; in a diffusion limit one recovers the Keller-Segel model and in a hydrodynamical limit one recovers the model proposed for human endothelial cells. We also mention the mathematical interest of analyzing another degenerate parabolic system (exhibiting different properties) proposed to describe the angiogenesis phenomena i.e. the formation of capillary blood vessels.
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