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Active gel flow in finite domains with applications to cell motility in confinement

Monday 19th August 2013 - 11:00 to 11:30
Co-authors: Carl Whitfield (University of Sheffield), Raphael Voituriez (UPMC/CNRS, Paris), Davide Marenduzzo (University of Edinburgh)

Motility of cells in confinement is relevant to cell migration in tissues. Motility is powered by the cell cytoskeleton, which consists of biopolymer filaments and active cross linkers (molecular motors), fueled by biochemical energy. Modelling the cell cytoskeleton as a finite domain of active polar gel, we calculate internal flow fields. These velocity fields are dependent on the boundary conditions. In addition, coupling these internal flows to external media gives rise to mechanisms for motion of the active droplet. The internal dynamics also affect the shape of the active domain. I will present results of analytical calculations and numerical simulations of velocity fields with different boundary conditions. As well as showing results I will discuss some future challenges that are currently unsolved.

University of Cambridge Research Councils UK
    Clay Mathematics Institute London Mathematical Society NM Rothschild and Sons