The Mechanics of Heterotypic Cell Aggregates: Insights From Computer Simulations

[+] Author and Article Information
G. Wayne Brodland

Department of Civil Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1 Canadae-mail: brodland@uwaterloo.ca

Helen H. Chen

Department of Civil Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1 Canada

J Biomech Eng 122(4), 402-407 (Mar 20, 2000) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.1288205 History: Received August 15, 1998; Revised March 20, 2000
Copyright © 2000 by ASME
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A cell, showing typical force generators and how they are modeled: (a) Forces can be generated by CMBs, apical microtubules, the cell membrane and its associated contractile proteins, CAMs and other structures that give rise to intercellular adhesions, and the cell cytoplasm. (b) Each m-sided cell is modeled by m, triangular finite elements connected together at nodes. All the phenomena investigated here are driven by a single, equivalent, contractile force, FAB or FAM (Eqs. (1) and (2)). Intracellular pressures, p, result from these contractions, and generate an outward force, which acts on all edges of the cell but which, for purposes of illustration, is shown on only one side of the cell.
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Engulfment of one kind of cell mass by another: (a) Initial configuration (QDD:QLL:QLD:QDM:QLM=7:4:6:80:40). (b) Cells of each type cluster closely together. (c) Engulfment is complete. The boundary between the light and dark cells is not smooth. This apparently is due, in part, to the limited number of cells used in the simulation.
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A triple junction between two cells or masses of cells of types L and D, and a medium M. The vectors show the forces acting along each boundary.
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Cell sorting (Case A): (a) An initial, random mixture of 135 cells from two populations, distinguished using light (L) and dark (D) shading (QDD:QLL:QLD:QDM:QLM=10:4:30:80:40). (b) The dark cells have linked together to form chains. (c) The dark cells cluster increasingly tightly together. (d) The groups of light and dark cells anneal.
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Cell sorting (Case C). The initial configuration is the same as that shown in Fig. 3(a). Here, QDD:QLL:QLD:QDM:QLM=4:14:30:60:40. (a) The dark cells have formed chains. (b) The chains become clusters. (c) Masses of light and dark cells anneal.
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Formation of a checkerboard pattern. If the boundary force between cells of different kinds is higher than that between both kinds of similar cells (QLD>QDD and QLD>QLL), a checkerboard-like pattern results. The characteristic angles between cells also change from 120 deg to 90 and 135 deg.




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