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Computer Simulation of Actin Polymerization in Cellular Protrusion
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Theoretical Physics.
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Theoretical Physics.
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Theoretical Physics.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Motility or spontaneous motion of eukaryotic cells, such as white blood cells, has been

extensively studied in the recent literature. A mechanism has been established based

on polymerization of actin filaments that pushes the cell wall forwards. However, many

features of this phenomenon remain incompletely understood and more insights from

modeling is desirable. We study the problem of understanding the origin and magnitude

of the velocity achieved by the moving cells, and compare it with existing experimental

results. We have developed and simulated a simplified model based on the relevant

features of eukaryotic protrusion, formulating main elements required to describe the

cellular motility. The main simplification is the isolation of a few actin filaments, whereas

other similar models have previously been built on more complicated cases of polymer

ensembles. The strength of the simplified model is that it clarifies the actual e


elements of cellular protrusion. A computer program simulates the growth of an actin

polymer behind a cellular membrane and delivers the protrusion speed of the eukaryotic.

We also construct a real time 3D graphical representation of the movement process.

The results obtained are in reasonable agreement with experimental results for the cell

velocity. The agreement is actually improved compared to previous studies of more

complicated models, indicating that our simplified model indeed seems to work very

well. Moreover, the detailed graphical representation highlights the process in greater

detail than has previously been achieved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 30 p.
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-103466OAI: diva2:560213
Available from: 2012-10-12 Created: 2012-10-12 Last updated: 2012-10-12Bibliographically approved

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