Mathematical Biology Seminar: Mark Zajac

  • Date: 02/14/2013
  • Time: 14:00
Mark Zajac, UBC

University of British Columbia


Polymer Entropy Can Drive Cell Migration


    I will present a two-phase model for the solid cytoskeleton and fluid cytosol inside crawling nematode spermatozoa. Simulations demonstrate that entropy of the cytoskeletal polymer network can generate force that drives a cell forward. The drag force exerted by cytosolic fluid also plays a significant role. Simulations also show that cytoskeletal anisotropy is required to account for the dependance of cell speed on cell shape, as observed in experiments. I am using level set methods to provide an implicit representation of cell boundaries. Data analysis includes image processing as a minimization problem, leading to an Euler-Lagrange equation. Tracking cytoskeletal features makes use of correlations.

Other Information: 

Location: ESB 4133