In the current paper a numerical approach is presented for solving a system of coupled gradient-diffusion equations which acts as a first model for the growth of axons in brain tissue. The presented approach can be applied to a much wider range of problems, but we focus on the axon growth problem. In our approach time stepping is performed with a Rosenbrock solver with approximate matrix factorization. For the Jacobian an approximation is used that simplifies the solution of the coupled parabolic and gradient equations. A possible complication in the implementation of source terms is noted and a criterion that helps to avoid it is presented.

Method of lines (msc 65M20), Multistep, Runge-Kutta and extrapolation methods (msc 65L06), Neural biology (msc 92C20)
CWI
Modelling, Analysis and Simulation [MAS]

Lastdrager, B. (2002). Numerical solution of mixed gradient-diffusion equations modelling axon growth. Modelling, Analysis and Simulation [MAS]. CWI.