Graduate Student / Postdoc Seminar

Cell Movement as a Free Boundary Problem

Speaker: Alex Mogilner

Location: Warren Weaver Hall 1302

Date: Friday, November 14, 2014, 1 p.m.


Cell migration is one of the fundamental biological phenomena underlying development, wound healing, cancer and immune response. Biophysics and biochemistry of cell movement has been actively modeled. I will introduce a model of the cell as a contractile and polymerizing viscoelastic gel with a free boundary. Mechanics of such gel can be in the simplest case described by just two coupled PDEs, but those have to be solved on a free boundary domain. I will show how this model explains both steady motility, and cell turning and symmetry breaking.