Alex Mogilner, Courant Institute, New York University
Cell migration is a fundamentally important phenomenonunderlying wound healing, tissue development, immune responseand cancer metastasis. Understanding basic physics of thecell migration presented a great challenge until, in the lastthree decades, a combination of biological, biophysical andmathematical approaches shed light on basic mechanisms ofthe cell migration. I will first focus on the simplest case of single2D cell. I will describe models, based on nonlinear PDE free boundaryproblem.The model makes a non-intuitive prediction: cells oftenmove along circular trajectories. I will show how experimental datacompares to the model.
Most cells, however, migrate collectively, not individually, and in 3D.I will introduce experimental data on collective migration of two heart progenitorcells in Ciona embryo. These cells crawl cohesively squeezingbetween stiff ectoderm and elastic endoderm with persistent leader-trailer polarity.I will present simulations based on the Cellular Potts Modelthat shed light on design principles of this motile system.