Space-time fractional diffusion in cell movement models with delay

Gissell Estrada-Rodriguez, Heiko Gimperlein, Kevin J. Painter, Jakub Stocek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
37 Downloads (Pure)


The movement of organisms and cells can be governed by occasional long distance runs, according to an approximate Lévy walk. For T cells migrating through chronically-infected brain tissue, runs are further interrupted by long pauses and the aim here is to clarify the form of continuous model equations that describe such movements. Starting from a microscopic velocity-jump model based on experimental observations, we include power-law distributions of run and waiting times and investigate the relevant parabolic limit from a kinetic equation for resting and moving individuals. In biologically relevant regimes we derive nonlocal diffusion equations, including fractional Laplacians in space and fractional time derivatives. Its analysis and numerical experiments shed light on how the searching strategy, and the impact from chemokinesis responses to chemokines, shorten the average time taken to find rare targets in the absence of direct guidance information such as chemotaxis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-88
Number of pages24
JournalMathematical Models and Methods in Applied Sciences
Issue number1
Early online date27 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


  • Lévy process
  • immune cells
  • nonlocal operators
  • velocity-jump model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Applied Mathematics


Dive into the research topics of 'Space-time fractional diffusion in cell movement models with delay'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this