A non-local kinetic model for cell migration : a study of the interplay between contact guidance and steric hindrance
In this talk, I will illustrate a class of non-local kinetic models for cell migration in response to the external environment. In particular, we shall consider cell migration on the extracellular matrix (ECM) and two phenomena named contact guidance and steric hindrance depending on a single external cue (the ECM) that affects in a twofold way the polarization and speed of motion of the cells. We start from a microscopic description of the stochastic processes underlying the cell re-orientation mechanism related to the change of cell speed and direction. Then, we formally derive the corresponding kinetic model that implements exactly the prescribed microscopic dynamics and, from it, it is possible to deduce the macroscopic limit in the appropriate regime. Moreover, we test our model in several scenarios. In particular, we numerically investigate the minimal microscopic mechanisms that are necessary to reproduce cell dynamics by comparing the outcomes of our model with some experimental results related to breast cancer cell migration. This allows us to validate the proposed modeling approach and, also, to highlight its capability of predicting the qualitative cell behaviors in diverse heterogeneous microenvironments.
This is a joint work with M. Conte (PoliTo).