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Title: Matrix Stiffness Modulates Mechanical Interactions and Promotes Contact between Motile Cells
The mechanical micro-environment of cells and tissues influences key aspects of cell structure and function, including cell motility. For proper tissue development, cells need to migrate, interact, and form contacts. Cells are known to exert contractile forces on underlying soft substrates and sense deformations in them. Here, we propose and analyze a minimal biophysical model for cell migration and long-range cell–cell interactions through mutual mechanical deformations of the substrate. We compute key metrics of cell motile behavior, such as the number of cell-cell contacts over a given time, the dispersion of cell trajectories, and the probability of permanent cell contact, and analyze how these depend on a cell motility parameter and substrate stiffness. Our results elucidate how cells may sense each other mechanically and generate coordinated movements and provide an extensible framework to further address both mechanical and short-range biophysical interactions.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
2026782 2112675 1547848
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ;
Date Published:
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Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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