Biomathematics / Computational Biology Colloquium

Roles of fluid mechanics in cell motility and polarization

Speaker: Alex Mogilner, New York University, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences

Location: Warren Weaver Hall 1314

Date: Tuesday, November 27, 2018, 12:30 p.m.


Fluid mechanics are frequently overlooked in analyses of cell migration and polarization, however, recognition of their importance is growing. I will first review key studies of intracellular fluid mechanics, and then address two issues:

a) Is there a cytosol's flow in a motile cell? If so, what are its origin and role?

b) Can the cytosol's flow affect cell polarization?

The answers come from two studies:

1) Imaging of quantum dots in motile cell appendages in combination with solving Darcy flow problem reveals the flow presence in keratocyte cells.

2) In vitro reconstitution of actin-myosin contractile networks shows that such network can either go to the center or break symmetry. The data and modeling suggest that the network contraction generates a fluid flow, which in turn generates a centration force.