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A simulation study of aggregation mediated by production of cohesive molecules

Abstract

Mechanical interactions between biological cells can be mediated by secreted products. Here, we investigate how such a scenario could affect the cells' collective behaviour. We show that if the concentration field of secreted products around a cell can be considered to be in steady state, this scenario can be mapped onto an effective attractive interaction that depends on the local cell density. Using a field-theory approach, this density-dependent attraction gives rise to a cubic term in the Landau-Ginzburg free energy density. In continuum field simulations this can lead to "nucleation-like" appearance of homogeneous clusters in the spinodal phase separation regime. Implementing the density-dependent cohesive attraction in Brownian dynamics simulations of a particle-based model gives rise to similar ``spinodal nucleation'' phase separation behaviour.Mechanical interactions between biological cells can be mediated by secreted products. Here, we investigate how such a scenario could affect the cells' collective behaviour. We show that if the concentration field of secreted products around a cell can be considered to be in steady state, this scenario can be mapped onto an effective attractive interaction that depends on the local cell density. Using a field-theory approach, this density-dependent attraction gives rise to a cubic term in the Landau-Ginzburg free energy density. In continuum field simulations this can lead to "nucleation-like" appearance of homogeneous clusters in the spinodal phase separation regime. Implementing the density-dependent cohesive attraction in Brownian dynamics simulations of a particle-based model gives rise to similar ``spinodal nucleation'' phase separation behaviour.

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Publication details

The article was accepted on 12 Sep 2019 and first published on 23 Sep 2019


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C9SM01462D
Soft Matter, 2019, Accepted Manuscript
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY-NC license
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    A simulation study of aggregation mediated by production of cohesive molecules

    G. Melaugh, D. Mareduzzo, A. Morozov and R. J. Allen, Soft Matter, 2019, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C9SM01462D

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