Key words Ameboid deformation
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Traditional continuum models of ameboid deformation and locomotion are limited by the computational difficulties intrinsic in free boundary conditions. A new model using the immersed boundary method overcomes these difficulties by representing the cell as a force field immersed in fluid domain. The forces can be derived from a direct mechanical interpretation of such cell components as the cell membrane, the actin cortex, and the transmembrane adhesions between the cytoskeleton and the substratum. The numerical cytoskeleton, modeled as a dynamic network of immersed springs, is able to qualitatively model the passive mechanical behavior of a shear-thinning viscoelastic fluid (Bottino 1997). The same network is used to generate active protrusive and contractile forces. When coordinated with the attachment-detachment cycle of the cell's adhesions to the substratum, these forces produce directed locomotion of the model ameba. With this model it is possible to study the effects of altering the numerical parameters upon the motility of the model cell in a manner suggestive of genetic deletion experiments. In the context of this ameboid cell model and its numerical implementation, simulations involving multicellular interaction, detailed internal signaling, and complex substrate geometries are tractable.
Type of Medium: