Bulletin of Mathematical Biology

, Volume 73, Issue 3, pp 658–682 | Cite as

Cell Physician: Reading Cell Motion

A Mathematical Diagnostic Technique Through Analysis of Single Cell Motion
  • Hasan Coskun
  • Huseyin Coskun
Original Article


Cell motility is an essential phenomenon in almost all living organisms. It is natural to think that behavioral or shape changes of a cell bear information about the underlying mechanisms that generate these changes. Reading cell motion, namely, understanding the underlying biophysical and mechanochemical processes, is of paramount importance. The mathematical model developed in this paper determines some physical features and material properties of the cells locally through analysis of live cell image sequences and uses this information to make further inferences about the molecular structures, dynamics, and processes within the cells, such as the actin network, microdomains, chemotaxis, adhesion, and retrograde flow. The generality of the principals used in formation of the model ensures its wide applicability to different phenomena at various levels. Based on the model outcomes, we hypothesize a novel biological model for collective biomechanical and molecular mechanism of cell motion.


Cell motility Inverse problem Material parameters Actin network Chemotaxis Lateral signal diffusion Microdomains Membrane ruffling Adhesion formation Retrograde flow 


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Supplementary material

Annotated PtK1 epithelial cell membrane motion shows the relation between displacement and polymerization or depolymerization (MOV 794 KB)

Annotated PtK1 epithelial cell membrane local motion (i=47,…,53) shows the relation between displacement and polymerization or depolymerization (MOV 457 KB)

Annotated PtK1 epithelial cell (lamellipodium) membrane motion (MOV 1.26 MB)

Annotated PtK1 epithelial cell lamella (transition) line motion (MOV 1.06 MB)

Annotated PtK1 epithelial cell treated with CytD (MOV 1.05 MB)

Annotated movie of a neutrophil chasing bacteria (MOV 703 KB)

Annotated movie of a keratocyte (MOV 319 KB)


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Copyright information

© Society for Mathematical Biology 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MathematicsTexas A&M University-CommerceCommerceUSA
  2. 2.Department of MathematicsOhio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  3. 3.Mathematical Bioscience InstituteOhio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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