Modeling cellular deformations using the level set formalism

Liu Yang, Janet C. Effler, Brett L. Kutscher, Sarah E. Sullivan, Douglas Robinson, Pablo A Iglesias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Many cellular processes involve substantial shape changes. Traditional simulations of these cell shape changes require that grids and boundaries be moved as the cell's shape evolves. Here we demonstrate that accurate cell shape changes can be recreated using level set methods (LSM), in which the cellular shape is defined implicitly, thereby eschewing the need for updating boundaries. Results: We obtain a viscoelastic model of Dictyostelium cells using micropipette aspiration and show how this viscoelastic model can be incorporated into LSM simulations to recreate the observed protrusion of cells into the micropipette faithfully. We also demonstrate the use of our techniques by simulating the cell shape changes elicited by the chemotactic response to an external chemoattractant gradient. Conclusion: Our results provide a simple but effective means of incorporating cellular deformations into mathematical simulations of cell signaling. Such methods will be useful for simulating important cellular events such as chemotaxis and cytokinesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number68
JournalBMC Systems Biology
Volume2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 24 2008

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Cell Shape
Level Set
Cell signaling
Cell
Modeling
Viscoelastic Model
Level Set Method
Dictyostelium
Cytokinesis
Chemotactic Factors
Chemotaxis
Simulation
Demonstrate
Updating
Gradient
Grid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Structural Biology
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Computer Science Applications

Cite this

Modeling cellular deformations using the level set formalism. / Yang, Liu; Effler, Janet C.; Kutscher, Brett L.; Sullivan, Sarah E.; Robinson, Douglas; Iglesias, Pablo A.

In: BMC Systems Biology, Vol. 2, 68, 24.07.2008.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Yang, Liu ; Effler, Janet C. ; Kutscher, Brett L. ; Sullivan, Sarah E. ; Robinson, Douglas ; Iglesias, Pablo A. / Modeling cellular deformations using the level set formalism. In: BMC Systems Biology. 2008 ; Vol. 2.
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