Spike density distribution for the Gierer–Meinhardt model with precursor

Theodore Kolokolnikov, Shuangquan Xie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


We consider the Gierer–Meinhardt model in one dimension with a spatially-dependent precursor μ(x) which was proposed as a model of cell differentiation with control over pattern distribution in space. Assuming that the activator diffuses much slower than the inhibitor, such a system is well-known to admit solutions where the activator concentrates at N “spikes”. In the large-N limit, we derive the effective spike density for an arbitrary μ(x). We show that this density satisfies a first-order separable ODE. As a consequence, we derive instability thresholds for N spikes that correspond to a singularity in the ODE for the density. We recover, as a special case, the well-known stability thresholds for constant μ first derived in Iron et al. (2001), as well as cluster solutions that concentrate near the minimum of μ(x) that were recently discovered in Wei and Winter (2017). The main trick is applying Taylor expansions and geometric series to the equations of effective spike dynamics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number132247
JournalPhysica D: Nonlinear Phenomena
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jan 15


  • Heterogeneous media
  • Pattern formation
  • Reaction-diffusion systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Applied Mathematics


Dive into the research topics of 'Spike density distribution for the Gierer–Meinhardt model with precursor'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this