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Mechanics and Chemotaxis in the Morphogenesis of Vascular Networks

Summary: Mechanics and Chemotaxis
in the Morphogenesis of Vascular Networks
A. Tosin, D. Ambrosi, L. Preziosi
Politecnico di Torino, Dipartimento di Matematica
Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, Italy
The formation of vascular networks in vitro develops along two rather distinct stages:
during the early migration-dominated stage the main features of the pattern emerge,
later the mechanical interaction of the cells with the substratum stretches the net-
work. Mathematical models in the relevant literature have been focusing just on
either of the aspects of this complex system. In this paper, a unified view of the
morphogenetic process is provided in terms of physical mechanisms and mathemat-
ical modeling.
Key words: vascular networks, vasculogenesis, chemotaxis, cell traction, elasticity
1 Introduction
When cultured in vitro in a suitable environment, Endothelial Cells (ECs) are
able to organize themselves to form capillary-like networks. This characteristic
is shared by several cell lines [24]; particularly interesting is the observation
that also melanoma cells seem to have the capability to form capillary-like
structures by themselves which favor their growth [12,17]. The details of the


Source: Ambrosi, Davide - Dipartimento di Matematica, Politecnico di Torino


Collections: Mathematics