Active gel model of amoeboid cell motility

A.C. Callan-Jones , R. Voituriez

Bibtex , URL
Published 18 Feb. 2013
DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/15/2/025022
ISSN: 1367-2630


We develop a model of amoeboid cell motility based on active gel theory. Modeling the motile apparatus of a eukaryotic cell as a confined layer of finite length of poroelastic active gel permeated by a solvent, we first show that, due to active stress and gel turnover, an initially static and homogeneous layer can undergo a contractile-type instability to a polarized moving state in which the rear is enriched in gel polymer. This agrees qualitatively with motile cells containing an actomyosin-rich uropod at their rear. We find that the gel layer settles into a steadily moving, inhomogeneous state at long times, sustained by a balance between contractility and filament turnover. In addition, our model predicts an optimal value of the gel-substrate adhesion leading to maximum layer speed, in agreement with cell motility assays. The model may be relevant to motility of cells translocating in complex, confining environments that can be mimicked experimentally by cell migration through microchannels.

Cette publication est associée à :

Dynamique stochastique des systèmes réactifs et vivants