University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Biophysics Seminar

Thursday, November 30th 2017
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
Speaker: David Odde, University of Minnesota
Subject:  Simulating cell migration

David Odde, University of Minnesota Cell migration is key to many biological processes including embryonic development, wound healing, and disease progression. Recent studies have shown that cell migration is sensitive to microenvironmental stiffness, and many cells display a stiffness optimum at which migration is maximal. To create a unified theoretical framework for cell migration, we have now developed and experimentally tested a whole cell migration simulator based on the motor-clutch model of cellular force transmission by imposing coupled force balances and mass balances on molecular motors, adhesion molecules (“clutches”), and actin subunits in a compliant microenvironment. The model predicts a stiffness optimum that can be shifted by altering the number of active molecular motors and clutches. This prediction was tested experimentally using glioma (brain cancer) cells, and we find that the motor-clutch cell migration simulator provides a theoretical framework with which to predict cell adhesion and migration in defined mechanochemical microenvironments in 1D, 2D, and 3D.

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