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Graduate Student Seminar - 10/07/2011

"Simulating Signal Relay during Cell Migration"

by Can Guven

Friday, October 7, 2011 -- 12:00 p.m.
Large Conference Room, 1207 Energy Research Facility

Advisors:  Associate Professor Wolfgang Losert and Professor Edward Ott

Collective cell migration, originating from individual protrusion of cells, is a process observed in various biological processes including angiogenesis, gastrulation, fruiting body formation, and wound healing. Dictyostelium discoideum, for example, exhibits highly dynamic patterns, such as streams and clumps during its collective motion. In the developmental phase D. discoideum cells transduce external signals to other cells in the ensemble through secretion of signaling chemicals, a phenomenon also known as signal relay. This way the signal can be transmitted over long distances at a faster rate compared to diffusion from the signal source. In this study, we developed a conceptual minimalistic computational model to analyze the emerging density instabilities as a result of the external signal, as well as the intercellular signaling rate and signal degradation rate. We demonstrated that degradation is necessary for constructive patterns and cells can make use of these two built-in timescales to optimize the streaming.

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