Cell motility: A viscous fingering analysis of active gels
Laboratoire de Physique Statistique, Ecole Normale Supérieure, UPMC Univ Paris 06, Université Paris Diderot, CNRS, 24 rue Lhomond, 75005, Paris, France
2 Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell’Innovazione Università del Salento, Via per Monteroni - Edificio “Corpo O”, I-73100, Lecce, Italy
Accepted: 7 February 2011
Published online: 18 February 2011
The symmetry breaking of the actin network from radial to longitudinal symmetry has been identified as the major mechanism for keratocytes (fish cells) motility on solid substrate. For strong friction coefficient, the two-dimensional actin flow which includes the polymerisation at the edge and depolymerisation in the bulk can be modelled as a Darcy flow, the cell shape and dynamics being then modelled by standard complex analysis methods. We use the theory of active gels to describe the orientational order of the filaments which varies from the border to the bulk. We show analytically that the reorganisation of the cortex is enough to explain the motility of the cell and find the velocity as a function of the orientation order parameter in the bulk.
© Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer, 2011