Chalmers Conferences, 9th European Conference on Mathematical and Theoretical Biology

Simulating multicellular systems using subcellular element approximations
Majid Abedi

Last modified: 2014-03-28


Collective behavior of cells in multicellular systems play an important role in cancer progression and tumor growth. All intercellular and intracellular processes finally lead to mechanical procedures that control the dynamics of cells. A detailed study of the inner constituents of cells in a multicellular environment seems to be impossible due to current computational capacity. However, recently specific methods such as Subcellular Element Model (SEM) and Cellular Particle Dynamics (CPD) have been introduced to simulate the behavior of a large number of cells by means of mechanical properties.

In the current study, we propose a novel model simulating cell collective behavior. The aforementioned behavior is affected by the core constituents of the cell and the interactions between them. For a single cell, the properties could be measured by Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) experiments.  In this regard, in our model we use cells representing the single-cell properties in a semi-quantitative manner. The effect of cell stiffness on cell migration is studied. Our results showed that less stiff cells are more motile while cell adhesion also affects motility.  Last but not least, we studied how cell stiffness could affect the collective behavior of cells in a multicellular scale.


multicellular systems, cell migration,