Crawling in a Fluid

Results are encouraging

There is increasing evidence that mammalian cells not only crawl on substrates but can also swim in fluids. To elucidate the mechanisms of the onset of motility of cells in suspension, a model which couples actin and myosin kinetics to fluid flow is proposed and solved for a spherical shape. The swimming speed is extracted in terms of key parameters. We analytically find super- and subcritical bifurcations from a nonmotile to a motile state and also spontaneous polarity oscillations that arise from a Hopf bifurcation. Relaxing the spherical assumption, the obtained shapes show appealing trends.

PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS 123, 118101 (2019)

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