CE45 - Interfaces: mathématiques, sciences du numérique –biologie, santé

Developing in silico avatars of cells to predict and drive cell migration on travelling waves – MovingCells

Submission summary

Cell migration guidance allows cells to reach their target and appropriate location as is the case during embryogenesis. We showed in vitro that curved surfaces guide cell migration locally, with cells always migrating to concave areas and this is independently of gravity. In vivo, the curvature of the cell microenvironment can change dynamically. Can cells detect dynamic changes in curvature? Can the changes in curvature stimulate cell migration continuously and over large distances? Can we develop deformable substrates to guide cell migration? What collective cell migration behaviors would this be highlighting?
We hypothesize that changing curvature dynamically by generating travelling waves at the surface of the substrate should stimulate and drive cell migration continously over large distances.
Directly testing our hypothesis is difficult because it requires a prototype that works the first time and is capable of generating appropriate travelling waves to guide cell migration, but without knowing the impact of this dynamic curvature on cells or its potentially deleterious nature.
We propose to combine in silico and in vitro analyses to bridge the gap. We will use our in silico model of curvature-guided cell migration to predict cell migration on travelling waves to select the optimal patterns. To create the wave patterns identified in silico, we will prototype a device producing travelling wrinkles at substrate surface. We will test this on cells in vitro to provide a first proof of concept. We will decipher dynamic curvature sensing at its beginning as well as at longer times. We will make evolve the experimental setup to drive cell migration in live by using cell imaging, in silico prediction and automation tools. Finally, we aim to generalize our analysis by considering different cell lines and different biological scales.
The MovingCells project proposes an integrated and relevant approach to decipher cell migration strategies on moving surfaces.

Project coordination

Jean-Louis MILAN (Université Aix-Marseille)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


IS2M Centre national de la recherche scientifique
IS2M Centre national de la recherche scientifique
ISM Université Aix-Marseille

Help of the ANR 575,961 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: September 2022 - 48 Months

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