Dresden 2020 – wissenschaftliches Programm

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BP: Fachverband Biologische Physik

BP 18: Poster VI

BP 18.4: Poster

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

Modelling cell monolayers with an elastic phase field approach — •Robert Chojowski, Ulrich S. Schwarz, and Falko Ziebert — Institute for Theoretical Physics and BioQuant, Heidelberg University, Germany

Motion and force generation of cell collectives are crucial in many biological processes, including wound healing and cancer metastasis. The first case can be quantitatively investigated in the so-called wound healing assay, when 2D cell monolayers start to move into empty space after removal of a barrier, often by forming protrusions led by so-called leader cells. During recent years it has become clear that these cell monolayers are both dynamic and elastic at the same time, a combination which is hard to model with conventional approaches. Here we introduce a new model that uses phase fields for the dynamical aspects and the theory of thin elastic sheets for the mechanical aspects. Our continuum equations can be solved numerically by a combination of spectral and matrix methods, and they can be compared to analytical solutions. We demonstrate how our approach works for several paradigmatic situations, namely contraction of a 1D bar and a 2D disc, and formation of elastic protrusions for a 2D wound healing situation due to localized forces at the interface.

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