TitleA new, 3D overlapping-sphere model of cell adhesion
NameDoumi, Mehdi (author), Shinbrot, Troy (chair), Shreiber, David (internal member), Craelius, William (internal member), Shvartsman, Stanislav (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
DescriptionCell adhesion refers to the ability of cells to make enduring and dynamic attachments to extracellular surfaces and to each other; rightly so it is a focal point of current biological research. I have designed a computational framework to model cell adhesion using a modified overlapping-sphere model. A core feature of the model is the three-dimensional representation of a cell surface that can interact mechanically with its environment. The generalization of a cell as a sphere gives our model the compactness to enable the simulations of thousands of cells, comparable to the number of cells typically encountered through small scale studies of early development and disease. Specifically, we use this computational framework to model adhesion between cells in a monolayer and a fibrous environment, cell shape change, as well as cell replication. We also include elements of cell orientation, or cell polarity, and touch on some aspects of mechanical feedback. We explore some general aspects of developmental biology as well as cancer in mammary ducts. Although we emphasize epithelial cells, which are cells that form monolayers, we also briefly consider migratory cells. The major results are that (1) Cells in a monolayer, like sheets and tubes, need to be both mobile and well-connected to adapt to mechanically stresses, (2) Cells that are not polarized do not produce a stable monolayer of cells, (3) Extracellular support, like a basement membrane, can minimize the stresses experienced at cell-cell junctions, (4) Mitosis triggered by tension can help maintain a monolayer of cells, (5) Cell shape needs to be incorporated into models to minimize undesirable stresses, (6) Our computational framework is useful to predict behavior of cells subjected to mechanical forces. As this is a new model, results are chiefly qualitative, and suggest future work in collaboration with experimentalists to verify and quantitate our results.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references (p. 79-81)
Noteby Mehdi Doumi
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work