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Graduate Student Seminar - 10/21/2011

"Cell Shape Dynamics: From Waves to Migration"

by Meghan Driscoll

Friday, October 21, 2011 -- 12:00 p.m.
Large Conference Room, 1207 Energy Research Facility

Advisors:  Associate Professor Wolfgang Losert and Professor John Fourkas

We observe and quantify wave-like characteristics of amoeboid migration. Using the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum, a model system for the study of chemotaxis, we demonstrate that cell shape changes in a wave-like manner. Cells have regions of high boundary curvature that propagate from the leading edge toward the back, usually along alternating sides of the cell. Curvature waves are easily seen in cells that do not adhere to a surface, such as cells that are electrostatically repelled from surfaces or cells that extend over the edge of microfabricated cliffs. Without surface contact, curvature waves travel from the leading edge to the back of a cell at ~35 mm/min.

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