WIAS Preprint No. 2357, (2016)

A coupled ligand-receptor bulk-surface system on a moving domain: Well posedness, regularity and convergence to equilibrium


  • Alphonse, Amal
  • Elliott, Charles M.
  • Terra, Joana

2010 Mathematics Subject Classification

  • 35K57 35K5 35Q92 35R01 35R37 92C37


  • Parabolic equations, advection-diffusion, moving domain, bulk-surface coupling, ligand-receptor




We prove existence, uniqueness, and regularity for a reaction-diffusion system of coupled bulk-surface equations on a moving domain modelling receptor-ligand dynamics in cells. The nonlinear coupling between the three unknowns is through the Robin boundary condition for the bulk quantity and the right hand sides of the two surface equations. Our results are new even in the non-moving setting, and in this case we also show exponential convergence to a steady state. The primary complications in the analysis are indeed the nonlinear coupling and the Robin boundary condition. For the well posedness and essential boundedness of solutions we use several De Giorgi-type arguments, and we also develop some useful estimates to allow us to apply a Steklov averaging technique for time-dependent operators to prove that solutions are strong. Some of these auxiliary results presented in this paper are of independent interest by themselves.

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