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AbstractComputational modelling of cell motility on substrates is a formidable challenge; regulatory pathways are intertwined and forces that influence cell motion are not fully quantified. Additional challenges arise from the need to describe a moving deformable cell boundary. Here, we present a simple mathematical model coupling cell shape dynamics, treated by the phase-field approach, to a vector field describing the mean orientation (polarization) of the actin filament network. The model successfully reproduces the primary phenomenology of cell motility: discontinuous onset of motion, diversity of cell shapes and shape oscillations. The results are in qualitative agreement with recent experiments on motility of keratocyte cells and cell fragments. The asymmetry of the shapes is captured to a large extent in this simple model, which may prove useful for the interpretation of experiments.
CitationZiebert F, Swaminathan S, Aranson IS (2011) Model for self-polarization and motility of keratocyte fragments. Journal of The Royal Society Interface 9: 1084–1092. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2011.0433.
SponsorsWe thank J. Oliver, P. Sens, E. Raphael, J. Prost, J.-F. Joanny, F. Julicher and K. Kruse for stimulating discussions. We also would like to thank one of the referees to point out the connection to nematic droplets. F.Z. thanks the DFG for partial funding via IRTG 1642 Soft Matter Science. S.S. acknowledges support from KAUST, the University of Oxford and the DDR&E and AFOSR under Award No. FA9550-10-1-0167. I.S.A. thanks the ESPCI for hospitality and the CNRS for support during his stay. The work of I.S.A. was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Materials Science and Engineering, under Contract DE-AC02-06CH11357.
PublisherThe Royal Society
PubMed Central IDPMC3306635
CollectionsPublications Acknowledging KAUST Support
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- Issue date: 2006 Jul
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- Model of polarization and bistability of cell fragments.
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- Mechanisms controlling cell size and shape during isotropic cell spreading.
- Authors: Xiong Y, Rangamani P, Fardin MA, Lipshtat A, Dubin-Thaler B, Rossier O, Sheetz MP, Iyengar R
- Issue date: 2010 May 19