An anisotropic interaction model for simulating fingerprints

Bertram Düring, Carsten Gottschlich, Stephan Huckemann, Lisa Maria Kreusser, Carola Bibiane Schönlieb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (SciVal)


Evidence suggests that both the interaction of so-called Merkel cells and the epidermal stress distribution play an important role in the formation of fingerprint patterns during pregnancy. To model the formation of fingerprint patterns in a biologically meaningful way these patterns have to become stationary. For the creation of synthetic fingerprints it is also very desirable that rescaling the model parameters leads to rescaled distances between the stationary fingerprint ridges. Based on these observations, as well as the model introduced by Kücken and Champod we propose a new model for the formation of fingerprint patterns during pregnancy. In this anisotropic interaction model the interaction forces not only depend on the distance vector between the cells and the model parameters, but additionally on an underlying tensor field, representing a stress field. This dependence on the tensor field leads to complex, anisotropic patterns. We study the resulting stationary patterns both analytically and numerically. In particular, we show that fingerprint patterns can be modeled as stationary solutions by choosing the underlying tensor field appropriately.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2171-2206
Number of pages36
JournalJournal of Mathematical Biology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019


  • Cell movement
  • Dynamical systems
  • Nonlocal interactions
  • Pattern formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Mathematics


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