VIGRE2 Vertical Intergration of Research and Education Department of Mathematics, University of Utah

Nathan Mason








Mentor: Fred Adler
Major: Biomedical Engineering

Spring 2007 project description:

We are going to investigate a potential model of how microglia migrate to and surround a foreign object in the brain, like an electrode. Microglia are a type of glial cell that act as the immune cells of the Central nervous system (CNS). They act as type of phagocytic cell which works to remove foreign bodies in the CNS.

The model we will be exploring is whether the cellular response of the microglia migrating to the foreign object, is in response to the object itself. Or alternatively if they respond to the cellular signals of neighboring microglia.

A third option would be that the microglia migrate to the foreign object, learn that the foreign object is not a threat to the brain. They then move away from the object. We will be use advection and diffusion equations to model this behavior. We have access to physical data. We will try to validate our model by comparing it to that data.