Dresden 2020 – wissenschaftliches Programm

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BP: Fachverband Biologische Physik

BP 18: Poster VI

BP 18.19: Poster

Dienstag, 17. März 2020, 14:00–16:00, P2/2OG

One-dimensional active gel models for optogenetic control of cell locomotion — •Oliver Max Drozdowski1,2, Falko Ziebert1,2, and Ulrich Sebastian Schwarz1,21Institute for Theoretical Physics, Heidelberg University, Philosophenweg 19, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany — 2BioQuant, Heidelberg University, Im Neuenheimer Feld 267, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany

Cell motility is essential in all domains of life, including development, wound healing and cancer. In order for a cell to start moving, a transition from a symmetric non-motile state to a polarized moving state has to occur. One-dimensional models of active gels based upon continuum mechanics have resulted in a quantitative understanding of how the interplay between contraction and flow in the actin cytoskeleton can lead to this transition. Recently, optogenetics has emerged as a promising experimental tool to control these processes. In this work we theoretically investigate if and how optogenetics could be used to control cell locomotion. We find that effects from external optogenetic signals can be incorporated in existing models as perturbations of solutions to the governing equations. We investigate an active Maxwell model with elastic boundary conditions, which cannot sustain the broken symmetry on its own, and show that asymmetric signals can lead to motility that then stops when the optogenetic activation ends. Additionally, we discuss models that also couple to a dynamic concentration field of motor proteins. Here optogenetic perturbations can both initiate and arrest steady states of motility. Together these results suggest that optogenetics could indeed be used to control cell movement.

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