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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 708497, 17 pages
Research Article

An Efficient Explicit Finite-Difference Scheme for Simulating Coupled Biomass Growth on Nutritive Substrates

1College of Mathematics, Taiyuan University of Technology, China
2School of Aerospace Systems, University of Cincinnati, 2851 Woodside Dr, Cincinnati, OH 45221, USA

Received 16 July 2014; Accepted 29 October 2014

Academic Editor: Seungik Baek

Copyright © 2015 G. F. Sun et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A novel explicit finite-difference (FD) method is presented to simulate the positive and bounded development process of a microbial colony subjected to a substrate of nutrients, which is governed by a nonlinear parabolic partial differential equations (PDE) system. Our explicit FD scheme is uniquely designed in such a way that it transfers the nonlinear terms in the original PDE into discrete sets of linear ones in the algebraic equation system that can be solved very efficiently, while ensuring the stability and the boundedness of the solution. This is achieved through (1) a proper design of intertwined FD approximations for the diffusion function term in both time and spatial variations and (2) the control of the time-step through establishing theoretical stability criteria. A detailed theoretical stability analysis is conducted to reveal that our FD method is indeed stable. Our examples verified the fact that the numerical solution can be ensured nonnegative and bounded to simulate the actual physics. Numerical examples have also been presented to demonstrate the efficiency of the proposed scheme. The present scheme is applicable for solving similar systems of PDEs in the investigation of the dynamics of biological films.