Mechano-sensitive adhesion in cell spreading and crawling
Pierre Sens (Institut Curie, Paris)
Crawling cell motility is powered by actin polymerization and acto-myosin contraction. When moving over a flat and rigid substrate, cells usually develop thin and broad protrusions at their front, called lamellipodia, where actin polymerisation generates a protrusive force pushing the front edge of the cell forward. The lamellipodium displays interesting dynamics, including normal and lateral waves, possibly relevant to cell polarisation and the initiation of motion. I will discuss a stochastic model of mechano-sensitive cell adhesion, and discuss its relevance for symmetry breaking, cell polarisation, and motility. I will then discuss a generic model of micro-crawlers, built as an extension of low Reynolds number micro-swimmers, that highlights the crucial role of mechano-sensitive adhesion for the active crawling of cells and biomimetic objects.