BIRS Workshop Lecture Videos

Banff International Research Station Logo

BIRS Workshop Lecture Videos

Collective behavior in co-cultures of cells with different mechano-adhesive properties Das, Moumita


In many biological processes, whether the formation of embryos or of tumors, cells dynamically organize in a context-dependent and spatiotemporal manner. These cells live and actively migrate in a heterogeneous environment of many cell types with different physical properties. For example, in many types of cancers such as colon, melanoma, prostrate and breast cancers, experiments have shown that the cancer cells are mechanically more deformable than the corresponding non-tumorigenic cells. It is also known that while non-cancerous (epithelial) cells tend to adhere to each other due to the adhesion protein E-cadherin and form a confluent tissue, in cancerous (mesenchymal) cells the expression of this protein is often heavily down-regulated. Motivated by this, we study the organization in a co-culture of two types of self-propelled particles (cells) with different stiffness and adhesion. We observe that the system phase separates into clusters with distinct morphologies and dynamics. We investigate the structure and growth of these segregating clusters with time by studying distribution functions and density structure factors, and characterize differences in the migration of the two cell types by studying their mean square displacements. Our results may elucidate how changes in cell mechano-adhesive properties during tumor progression impact cellular organization and dynamics in tumors.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International