Symmetry, Motility and Response of Biological Cells(2/2)

Project Details


There are two goals in this research. First, we will seek the relation between the symmetry of a biological cell and its motile behavior by studying a hydrodynamic model of cell motility. The model is constructed from active gel theory that is itself a theory build upon symmetry considerations. A biological cell is modeled as an active gel bounded by a cell membrane with adhesion sites that connect the underlying substrate and cell cytoskeleton. On the other hand, the shape of the cell has a strong effect on the movement of the cell. A moving cell has a lower symmetry than a cell at rest. The interplay between the symmetry of the evolution equation of the cell and the symmetry of cell shape determines the motion of a cell.Second, we will explore the relation between cell motility and the response of cell to the environment from symmetry considerations. Studies have shown that the physical limit for a cell to detect the concentration gradient of chemicals is coupled to the shape of the cell. We shall further seek the relation between the shape of a moving cell and its ability to probe changes in the environment.
Effective start/end date1/08/1731/10/18

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals


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