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Title: Collisions of deformable cells lead to collective migration

Collective migration of eukaryotic cells plays a fundamental role in tissue growth, wound healing and immune response. The motion, arising spontaneously or in response to chemical and mechanical stimuli, is also important for understanding life-threatening pathologies, such as cancer and metastasis formation. We present a phase-field model to describe the movement of many self-organized, interacting cells. The model takes into account the main mechanisms of cell motility – acto-myosin dynamics, as well as substrate-mediated and cell-cell adhesion. It predicts that collective cell migration emerges spontaneously as a result of inelastic collisions between neighboring cells: collisions lead to a mutual alignment of the cell velocities and to the formation of coherently-moving multi-cellular clusters. Small cell-to-cell adhesion, in turn, reduces the propensity for large-scale collective migration, while higher adhesion leads to the formation of moving bands. Our study provides valuable insight into biological processes associated with collective cell motility.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Technische Universitat Berlin (Germany). Inst. fur Theoretische Physik.
  2. Albert-Ludwigs-Universitat Freiburg (Germany). Physikalisches Institut; Institut Charles Sadron, Strasbourg Cedex (France)
  3. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL (United States). Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics.
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 5; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22); German Research Foundation (DFG); USDOE Office of Science - Office of Basic Energy Sciences - Materials Sciences and Engineering Division
Country of Publication:
United States
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; Computational biophysics; biomaterials - cells