Quantifying the roles of cell motility and cell proliferation in a circular barrier assay

Simpson, Matthew J., Treloar, Katrina K., Binder, Benjamin J., Haridas, Parvathi, Manton, Kerry J., Leavesley, David I., McElwain, D. L. Sean, & Baker, Ruth E. (2013) Quantifying the roles of cell motility and cell proliferation in a circular barrier assay. Journal of the Royal Society. Interface, 10(82).

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Moving fronts of cells are essential features of embryonic development, wound repair and cancer metastasis. This paper describes a set of experiments to investigate the roles of random motility and proliferation in driving the spread of an initially confined cell population. The experiments include an analysis of cell spreading when proliferation was inhibited.

Our data have been analysed using two mathematical models: a lattice-based discrete model and a related continuum partial differential equation model. We obtain independent estimates of the random motility parameter, D, and the intrinsic proliferation rate, λ, and we confirm that these estimates lead to accurate modelling predictions of the position of the leading edge of the moving front as well as the evolution of the cell density profiles.

Previous work suggests that systems with a high λ/D ratio will be characterized by steep fronts, whereas systems with a low λ/D ratio will lead to shallow diffuse fronts and this is confirmed in the present study. Our results provide evidence that continuum models, based on the Fisher–Kolmogorov equation, are a reliable platform upon which we can interpret and predict such experimental observations.

Impact and interest:

38 citations in Scopus
32 citations in Web of Science®
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23 since deposited on 21 Feb 2013
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ID Code: 57433
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: cell migration, cell proliferation, wound healing, cancer, mathematical modelling
DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2013.0007
ISSN: 1742-5689
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Mathematical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 The Royal Society Publishing
Deposited On: 21 Feb 2013 23:33
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2014 23:46

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