Optimization, Adaptation, and Initiation of Biological Transport Networks

Dan Hu

Institute of Natural Sciences

Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China

Blood vessel systems and leaf venations are typical biological transport networks. The energy consumption for such a system to perform its biological functions is determined by the network structure. In the first part of this talk, I will discuss the optimized structure of vessel networks, and show how the blood vessel system adapts itself to an optimized structure. Mathematical models are used to predict pruning vessels in the experiments of zebra fish. In the second part, I will discuss our recent modeling work on the initiation process of transport networks. Simulation results are used to illustrate how a tree-like structure is obtained from a continuum adaptation equation system, and how loops can exist in our model. Possible further application of this model will also be discussed.