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Abstract: The crawling motion of Dictyostelium discoideum on substrata involves anumber of coordinated events including cell contractions and cell protrusions.The mechanical forces exerted on the substratum during these contractions haverecently been quantified using traction force experiments. Based on the resultsfrom these experiments, we present a biomechanical model of Dictyosteliumdiscoideum motility with an emphasis on the adhesive properties of thecell-substratum contact. Our model assumes that the cell contracts at aconstant rate and is bound to the substratum by adhesive bridges which aremodeled as elastic springs. These bridges are established at a spatiallyuniform rate while detachment occurs at a spatially varying, load-dependentrate. Using Monte-Carlo simulations and assuming a rigid substratum, we findthat the cell speed depends only weakly on the adhesive properties of thecell-substratum, in agreement with experimental data. Varying the parametersthat control the adhesive and contractile properties of the cell we are able tomake testable predictions. We also extend our model to include a flexiblesubstrate and show that our model is able to produce substratum deformationsand force patterns that are quantitatively and qualitatively in agreement withexperimental data.

Author: Mathias Buenemann, Herbert Levine, Wouter-Jan Rappel, Leonard M. Sander

Source: https://arxiv.org/

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