Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology

, Volume 17, Issue 5, pp 1243–1268 | Cite as

Three-dimensional simulation of obstacle-mediated chemotaxis

  • Adrian MoureEmail author
  • Hector Gomez
Original Paper


Amoeboid cells exhibit a highly dynamic motion that can be directed by external chemical signals, through the process of chemotaxis. Here, we propose a three-dimensional model for chemotactic motion of amoeboid cells. We account for the interactions between the extracellular substances, the membrane-bound proteins, and the cytosolic components involved in the signaling pathway that originates cell motility. We show two- and three-dimensional simulations of cell migration on planar substrates, flat surfaces with obstacles, and fibrous networks. The results show that our model reproduces the main features of chemotactic amoeboid motion. Our simulations unveil a complicated interplay between the geometry of the cell’s environment and the chemoattractant dynamics that tightly regulates cell motion. The model opens new opportunities to simulate the interactions between extra- and intra-cellular compounds mediated by the matrix geometry.


Amoeboid motion Chemotaxis Phase-field modeling 3D cell migration 



A.M. and H.G. were partially supported by the European Research Council (Contract # 307201) and by Consellería de Cultura, Educación e Ordenación Universitaria (Xunta de Galicia). A.M. was partially supported by the UDC-Inditex Ph.D. student grant program.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Mechanical EngineeringPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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