We consider a generic model for cell motility. Even if a comprehensive understanding of cell motility remains elusive, progress has been achieved in its modelling using a whole-cell physical model. The model takes into account the main mechanisms of cell motility, actin polymerization, actin–myosin dynamics and substrate mediated adhesion (if applicable), and combines them with steric cell–cell and hydrodynamic interactions. The model predicts the onset of collective cell migration, which emerges spontaneously as a result of inelastic collisions of neighbouring cells. Each cell here modelled as an active polar gel is accomplished with two vortices if it moves. Upon collision of two cells, the two vortices which come close to each other annihilate. This leads to a rotation of the cells and together with the deformation and the reorientation of the actin filaments in each cell induces alignment of these cells and leads to persistent translational collective migration. The effect for low Reynolds numbers is as strong as in the non-hydrodynamic model, but it decreases with increasing Reynolds number.
One contribution of 12 to a theme issue ‘Coupling geometric partial differential equations with physics for cell morphology, motility and pattern formation’.
- © 2016 The Author(s)
Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.