In silico analysis shows that dynamic changes in curvature guide cell migration over long distances

  • Manifacier Ian
  • Carlin Gildas
  • Liu Dongshu
  • Vassaux Maxime
  • Pieuchot Laurent
  • Luchnikov Valeriy
  • Anselme Karine
  • Milan Jean-Louis

  • Curvature
  • Cell migration
  • Curvotaxis
  • Long-distance cell migration
  • Cell modeling
  • Cell contractility
  • Nucleus
  • Curvature cell migration curvotaxis long-distance cell migration modeling contractility nucleus
  • Modeling
  • Contractility


In-vitro experiments have shown that cell scale curvatures influence cell migration; cells avoid convex hills and settle in concave valleys. However, it is not known whether dynamic changes in curvature can guide cell migration. This study extends a previous in-silico model to explore the effects over time of changing the substrate curvature on cell migration guidance. By simulating a dynamic surface curvature using traveling wave patterns, we investigate the influence of wave height and speed, and find that long-distance cell migration guidance can be achieved on specific wave patterns. We propose a mechanistic explanation of what we call dynamic curvotaxis and highlight those cellular features that may be involved. Our results open a new area of study for understanding cell mobility in dynamic environments, from single-cell in-vitro experiments to multi-cellular in-vivo mechanisms.