Designing a crawling cell using soft materials
Seminar Room 1, Newton Institute
AbstractEukaryotic cells have been observed to be able to move in various media. One obvious example is provided by the keratocyte cells which are able to crawl on a 2D substrate (such as glass slides). In this talk, we aim to build a minimal hydrodynamic model of a crawling cell using ideas from soft matter physics such as binary liquid and liquid crystals. The simplest model of a cell is probably just a droplet sitting on a surface. However, a passive droplet will not be able to move on its own. To make it moves, we have to add some non-equilibrium physics into it. This is provided by actin polymerisation and actin-myosin contraction inside the cell cytoskeleton. These two active processes can then be coarse-grained into a set of hydrodynamic equations which are similar to that of active liquid crystals.
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