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A Mathematical Model for Photoreceptor Interaction

The retina is arguably the single most important component in the vision process. Via its photoreceptors it is responsible for converting electromagnetic radiation into a chemical signal understandable by the brain. The interactions between rod and cones in the retina have been the focus of innumerable experimental and theoretical biological studies in previous decades, yet the understanding of these interactions is still in its infancy. We develop mathematical models which address the possibilities of direct photoreceptor interactions through horizontal cells as well as indirect interactions via an intermediary trophic factor. We address the role these means of communication play in the presence of the degenerative disease, Retinitis pigmentosa. The diseased system exhibits a fold-Hopf bifurcation. Biological interpretation of all systems is given with the long-term objective of using our results to aid in prevention of vision loss in retinally degenerative diseases.

  • Poster sessions award recipient at the 2003 National SACNAS Convention in Albuquerque, NM

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Miguel Angel Colón Vélez, University of Puerto Rico
Daniel Jesus Hernández, Boston University
Ubaldo Rodriguez Bernier, University of Puerto Rico
Jon Van Laarhoven, Lawrence University
Erika Camacho, Los Alamos National Laboratory