NJIT Mathematics Department Seminar, Friday, 4/17

Speaker: Alex Mogilner
Courant Institute,
New York Univeristy
University Profile
Title: "Cell Motility as a Free Boundary Problem"
Cells migrate on surfaces by protruding their front by growing actin networks, retracting the rear by myosin-driven contraction and adhering to the substrate. Recent experimental and modeling efforts elucidated molecular and mechanical processes that allow motile cells to maintain steady shape and speed. These processes are multiple and redundant, and the challenge is to understand how molecular machines operating on multiple scales synergize to initiate motility and allow the cell to move steadily or to turn. Mathematically and mechanically, the cell is a contractile and viscous actomyosin gel with free boundary. I will describe mathematical modeling of the simplest motile cell, fish keratocyte, and discuss future challenges in simulating more complex cells.