GROWINGRODS - Morphelastic rods: The mathematics and mechanics of growing biological ļ¬laments 

Support for training and career development of researchers (Marie Curie)
Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowships for Career Development (IEF)

Although filamentary structures are ubiquitous in nature, a general theory describing their growth and dynamics is still lacking. In particular, the question of the development of intrinsic curvature and torsion is open. Furthermore, there is so far no constitutive theory linking the micro-structure of biological bodies and their macroscopic growth. In this respect one dimensional structures can be seen as the most easy case to study. Finally, many filaments tend to grow toward network structures. Modelling such structures requires the description of the nucleation and evolution of branching points. We intend to address each of these aspects. In particular, we will develop a 1D theory of growing rods to which branching will be included. Another step will be the modelling of differential growth in which different fibres of the rod grow at different speed thereby generating the intrinsic curvature of natural elongated structures (roots, branches, arteriae, ...). In the well biologically documented case of arabidopsis, we will develop a constitutive theory of growth - i.e. derive from the microstructure of the assembly of the plant's cells a theory linking the strains and stresses of the macroscopic body to its local growth. The last phase of the project will be the application of the ensuing theory to the full description of the growth of the root network of arabidopsis. The growth of axons will also be studied as there is the opportunity to directly compare our modelling results with experimentalists' work. This challenging project is intrinsically highly multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary as it lies at the border of Mathematics, Mechanics, Biology and physiology.

Principal investigators
Scientific co-ordinator:

Related Areas

United Kingdom
Last updated on 2014-06-17 at 16:13