Pratt School of Engineering - Simulating Cell Migration
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
David Odde, PhD., Professor, Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota
Abstract: 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, 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.