Synergy of Cells and Substrate in Cell Migration
Cell migration appears in diverse biological processes, including wound healing, tissue invasion of tumor cells, and the formation of neural crest and vasculature. The migration can be directed by various biophysical cues, such as chemotactic gradients, electric fields and substrate geometry and stiffness. Cell migration has been studied in various experimental conditions. However, due to experimental limitations, the mechanisms of cell migration are not fully understood. Computational models can illuminate intrinsic mechanisms of cell migration. To overcome limitations in current models, we created a computational biomechanical model that tackles the phenomenon of mesenchymal cell migration on two-dimensional substrates. Our model explicitly takes into account the geometry, deformation and stiffness of the substrate. We demonstrate that diverse migratory behaviors can indeed emerge from the mechanical interaction between cells and substrate. Within such capacity, the model reproduces various observed phenomena such as persistent-random walk, durotaxis, contact-inhibition of locomotion.
Kim, Purdue University.
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