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Cell Migration and Cell-Cell Interaction in the Presence of Mechano-Chemo-Thermotaxis

S.J. Mousavi, M.H. Doweidar∗,†, M. Doblaré
Group of Structural Mechanics and Materials Modelling (GEMM), Aragón Institute of Engineering Research (I3A), University of Zaragoza, Spain. Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red en Bioingeniería, Biomateriales y Nanomedicina (CIBER-BBN), Spain.

Molecular & Cellular Biomechanics 2013, 10(1), 1-25.


Although there are several computational models that explain the trajectory that cells take during migration, till now little attention has been paid to the integration of the cell migration in a multi-signaling system. With that aim, a generalized model of cell migration and cell-cell interaction under multisignal environments is presented herein. In this work we investigate the spatio-temporal cell-cell interaction problem induced by mechano-chemo-thermotactic cues. It is assumed that formation of a new focal adhesion generates traction forces proportional to the stresses transmitted by the cell to the extracellular matrix. The cell velocity and polarization direction are calculated based on the equilibrium of the effective forces associated to cell motility. It is also assumed that, in addition to mechanotaxis signals, chemotactic and thermotactic cues control the direction of the resultant traction force. This model enables predicting the trajectory of migrating cells as well as the spatial and temporal distributions of the net traction force and cell velocity. Results indicate that the tendency of the cells is firstly to reach each other and then migrate towards an imaginary equilibrium plane located near the source of the signal. The position of this plane is sensitive to the gradient slope and the corresponding efficient factors. The cells come into contact and separate several times during migration. Adding other cues to the substrate (such as chemotaxis and/or thermotaxis) delays that primary contact. Moreover, in all states, the average local velocity and the net traction force of the cells decrease while the cells approach the cues source. Our findings are qualitatively consistent with experimental observations reported in the related literature.


cell migration, cell-cell interaction, mechanotaxis, chemotaxis, thermotaxis, numerical simulation, finite element method

Cite This Article

Mousavi, S., Doweidar, M., Doblaré, M. (2013). Cell Migration and Cell-Cell Interaction in the Presence of Mechano-Chemo-Thermotaxis. Molecular & Cellular Biomechanics, 10(1), 1–25.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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