(190aq) Dynamics and Mechanics of Rotational Collective Cell Movements

Authors: 
Wolf, A. E., Princeton University
Nelson, C. M., Princeton University
Collective cell movements are essential in many processes throughout biology, including developmental phenomena such as morphogenesis, disease dynamics such as cancer invasion, and tissue repair during wound healing. In collective cell migration (CCM), cells migrate more efficiently when traveling collectively, relying on biophysical and molecular cues between neighbors to coordinate the efforts of the population. However, cells also often exhibit curious behaviors in their collective movements, including coherent angular motion (CAM), a rotational flow observed during development. To better understand the remarkable patterns that are observed as epithelial cells move collectively, we investigate the parameters important in governing CAM and CCM. We use timelapse microscopy to observe fluorescent beads embedded in soft substrata, which move in response to dynamic forces exerted by cells undergoing CAM and CCM. Our data suggest that patterns of collective cell movements correlate with spatial patterns of traction forces. We are interested in using these tissues to investigate how intercellular signaling affects the dynamics and mechanics of collective cell migration.