Computational model for cell morphodynamics

Phys Rev Lett. 2010 Sep 3;105(10):108104. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.105.108104. Epub 2010 Sep 2.


We develop a computational model, based on the phase-field method, for cell morphodynamics and apply it to fish keratocytes. Our model incorporates the membrane bending force and the surface tension and enforces a constant area. Furthermore, it implements a cross-linked actin filament field and an actin bundle field that are responsible for the protrusion and retraction forces, respectively. We show that our model predicts steady state cell shapes with a wide range of aspect ratios, depending on system parameters. Furthermore, we find that the dependence of the cell speed on this aspect ratio matches experimentally observed data.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Cell Shape*
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Models, Biological*