Exposing cell-itary confinement: Understanding the mechanisms of confined single cell migration

Bin Sheng Wong, Panagiotis Mistriotis, K Konstantopoulos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Cells in vivo migrate in a complex microenvironment and are subjected to varying degrees of physical confinement provided by neighboring cells, tissues, and extracellular matrix. The molecular machinery that cells utilize to migrate through confining pores or microtracks shares both similarities and differences with that used in unconfined 2D migration. Depending on the exact properties of the local microenvironment and cell contractile state, cells can adopt distinct phenotypes and employ a wide array of mechanisms to migrate efficiently in confined spaces. Remarkably, these various migration modes are also interconvertible and interconnected, highlighting the plasticity and inherent complexity underlying confined cell migration. In this book chapter, an overview of the different molecular mechanisms utilized by cells to migrate in confinement is presented, with special emphasis on the extrinsic environmental and intrinsic molecular determinants that control the transformation from one mechanism to the other.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
PublisherSpringer New York LLC
Number of pages19
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)0065-2598
ISSN (Electronic)2214-8019


  • Amoeboid migration
  • Cell blebbing
  • Cell migration
  • Lobopodia
  • Osmotic engine
  • Physical confinement
  • Pseudopodia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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