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Frontiers in Mathematical Oncology


Measuring and Modeling Collective Cell Migration

Wolfgang Losert

University of Maryland

Abstract:  

The metastatic process begins when cells migrate away from the primary tumor in small groups. Thus the long process of metastasis starts with changes in the collective behavior of primary tumor cells. I will describe our recent effort to capture and measure these changes in collective migration using metrics that capture a broad range of lengthscales and timescales.   By analyzing migration dynamics from multiple scales and perspectives, we are able to make a clear comparison of our experimental results to a simulation of collective cell migration, and provide a nuanced phenotype of collective behavior. To further elucidate basic mechanisms that underlie collective motion, we analyze how collective motion is affected by physical guidance of cell migration due to other cells and due to the texture of the microenvironment.