The Biophysics of Cell Migration: Biasing Cell Motion with Feynman Ratchets

last updated: 2020-07-01
Project2MATCH :: publications list
TitleThe Biophysics of Cell Migration: Biasing Cell Motion with Feynman Ratchets
Publication TypePapers in Scientific Journals
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsCaballero D., Kundu S. C., and Reis R. L.

The concepts and frameworks of soft matter physics and the laws of thermodynamics can be used to describe relevant developmental, physiologic, and pathologic events in which directed cell migration is involved, such as in cancer. Typically, this directionality has been associated with the presence of soluble long-range gradients of a chemoattractant, synergizing with many other guidance cues to direct the motion of cells. In particular, physical inputs have been shown to strongly influence cell locomotion. However, this type of cue has been less explored despite the importance in biology. In this paper, we describe recent in vitro works at the interface between physics and biology, showing how the motion of cells can be directed by using gradient-free environments with repeated local asymmetries. This rectification of cell migration, from random to directed, is a process reminiscent of the Feynman ratchet; therefore, this framework can be used to explain the mechanism behind directed cell motion.

JournalThe Biophysicist
Date Published2020-06-30
PublisherBiophysical Society
Keywordsbiophysics, cell motility, education, Feynman, pedagogy, ratchet
Peer reviewedyes

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