Continuum model for tubulin-driven neurite elongation
McLean, D. R., Van Ooyen, A., and Graham, B. P. (2004). Neurocomputing 58-60: 511-516. [Full text: PDF]
The formulation and numerical solution of a continuum (PDE) model of neurite elongation is presented. This model describes elongation as a function of the production, transport and (dis)assembly of tubulin into microtubules in a single growing neurite. It provides an important extension to previous ordinary differential equation models of neurite elongation by allowing the incorporation of protein degradation and the calculation of the tubulin concentration gradient along the extent of the neurite. Simulation results indicate that the tubulin gradient can be flat, linearly decreasing, or significantly nonlinear. Elongation rate may be constant, or decrease until growth stops.