The mathematics of blood vessel growth: predicting multicellular patterning from individual cell behavior

Mathematical Biology

05 September 14:00 - 14:45

Roeland Merks - Universiteit Leiden

To create a new blood vessel, the behavior of the building blocks of blood vessels, the endothelial cells, must be coordinated. Apart from molecular cell-cell signaling, endothelial cells exchange mechanical signals to coordinate their behavior. To get a better understanding of such mechanical cell-cell communication, we are developing dynamical mathematical models of cells and the extracellular matrix (ECM). I will discuss how these models help us explain the response of individual cells to the mechanics of the ECM, as well as the collective behavior of cells during angiogenesis. Recently, detailed measurements and new mathematical models of the kinetics of focal adhesions (the macromolecular mechanosensitive assemblies by which cells interact with the ECM) have become available. In our ongoing work we are including these kinetic descriptions of focal adhesions in our models. I will sketch how this approach allows us to mechanistically predict changes in cell shape and in collective cell behavior from changes in focal adhesion kinetics, e.g., due to genetic knockouts or pharmacological treatment. Altogether, our models help explain how local, mechanical cell-ECM interactions assist in coordinating cell behavior during multicellular patterning.
Mats Gyllenberg
University of Helsinki
Torbjörn Lundh
Chalmers/University of Gothenburg
Philip Maini
University of Oxford
Roeland Merks
Universiteit Leiden
Mathisca de Gunst
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam


Roeland Merks


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