A Coupled Friction-Poroelasticity Model of Chimneying Shows that Confined Cells Can Mechanically Migrate Without Adhesions
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Cell migration is the cornerstone of many biological phenomena such as cancer metastasis, immune response or organogenesis. Adhesion-based motility is the most renown and examined motility mode, but in an adhesion-free confined environment or simply to achieve a higher migration speed, cells can adopt a very interesting bleb-based migration mode called “chimneying”. This mode rests on the sharp synchronization between the active contraction of the cells uropod and the passive friction force between the cell and the confining surface. In this paper, we propose a one dimensional poroelastic model of chimneying which considers the active strains of the cell, but, as an improvement with respect to our previous works, the synchronization between such strains and the friction forces developed by the cell and necessary to move forward is self-determined. The present work allows to deepen our knowledge on chimneying which is still poorly understood from a mechanical point of view. Furthermore, our results emphasize the key role of poroelasticity in bleb formation and give new insights on the location and the time-synchronization of the friction force. Further development of this exploratory work could provide a major tool to test hypotheses beforehand and thus focus future experiments on mechanically relevant ones.
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