## 34-XX ORDINARY DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS

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Synapses are connections between different nerve cells that form an essential link in neural signal transmission. It is generally distinguished between electrical and chemical synapses, where chemical synapses are more common in the human brain and are also the type we deal with in this work.
In chemical synapses, small container-like objects called vesicles fill with neurotransmitter and expel them from the cell during synaptic transmission. This process is vital for communication between neurons. However, to the best of our knowledge no mathematical models that take different filling states of the vesicles into account have been developed before this thesis was written.
In this thesis we propose a novel mathematical model for modeling synaptic transmission at chemical synapses which includes the description of vesicles of different filling states. The model consists of a transport equation (for the vesicle growth process) plus three ordinary differential equations (ODEs) and focuses on the presynapse and synaptic cleft.
The well-posedness is proved in detail for this partial differential equation (PDE) system. We also propose a few different variations and related models. In particular, an ODE system is derived and a delay differential equation (DDE) system is formulated. We then use nonlinear optimization methods for data fitting to test some of the models on data made available to us by the Animal Physiology group at TU Kaiserslautern.

SDE-driven modeling of phenotypically heterogeneous tumors: The influence of cancer cell stemness
(2018)

We deduce cell population models describing the evolution of a tumor (possibly interacting with its
environment of healthy cells) with the aid of differential equations. Thereby, different subpopulations
of cancer cells allow accounting for the tumor heterogeneity. In our settings these include cancer
stem cells known to be less sensitive to treatment and differentiated cancer cells having a higher
sensitivity towards chemo- and radiotherapy. Our approach relies on stochastic differential equations
in order to account for randomness in the system, arising e.g., by the therapy-induced decreasing
number of clonogens, which renders a pure deterministic model arguable. The equations are deduced
relying on transition probabilities characterizing innovations of the two cancer cell subpopulations,
and similarly extended to also account for the evolution of normal tissue. Several therapy approaches
are introduced and compared by way of tumor control probability (TCP) and uncomplicated tumor
control probability (UTCP). A PDE approach allows to assess the evolution of tumor and normal
tissue with respect to time and to cell population densities which can vary continuously in a given set
of states. Analytical approximations of solutions to the obtained PDE system are provided as well.

The primary objective of this work is the development of robust, accurate and efficient simulation methods for the optimal control of mechanical systems, in particular of constrained mechanical systems as they appear in the context of multibody dynamics. The focus is on the development of new numerical methods that meet the demand of structure preservation, i.e. the approximate numerical solution inherits certain characteristic properties from the real dynamical process.
This task includes three main challenges. First of all, a kinematic description of multibody systems is required that treats rigid bodies and spatially discretised elastic structures in a uniform way and takes their interconnection by joints into account. This kinematic description must not be subject to singularities when the system performs large nonlinear dynamics. Here, a holonomically constrained formulation that completely circumvents the use of rotational parameters has proved to perform very well. The arising constrained equations of motion are suitable for an easy temporal discretisation in a structure preserving way. In the temporal discrete setting, the equations can be reduced to minimal dimension by elimination of the constraint forces. Structure preserving integration is the second important ingredient. Computational methods that are designed to inherit system specific characteristics – like consistency in energy, momentum maps or symplecticity – often show superior numerical performance regarding stability and accuracy compared to standard methods. In addition to that, they provide a more meaningful picture of the behaviour of the systems they approximate. The third step is to take the previ- ously addressed points into the context of optimal control, where differential equation and inequality constrained optimisation problems with boundary values arise. To obtain meaningful results from optimal control simulations, wherein energy expenditure or the control effort of a motion are often part of the optimisation goal, it is crucial to approxi- mate the underlying dynamics in a structure preserving way, i.e. in a way that does not numerically, thus artificially, dissipate energy and in which momentum maps change only and exactly according to the applied loads.
The excellent numerical performance of the newly developed simulation method for optimal control problems is demonstrated by various examples dealing with robotic systems and a biomotion problem. Furthermore, the method is extended to uncertain systems where the goal is to minimise a probability of failure upper bound and to problems with contacts arising for example in bipedal walking.