Cell Locomotion in One Dimension

  • Pierre Recho
  • Lev Truskinovsky
Part of the Biological and Medical Physics, Biomedical Engineering book series (BIOMEDICAL)


We overview a sub-class of mathematical models of lamellipodial cell motility on a substrate (crawling) that are based on a projection of a complex intra-cellular dynamics into one dimension. Despite the unavoidable oversimplifications associated with such a representation (loss of flow continuity, neglect of orientational order, misrepresentation of volume control mechanisms, etc.), one-dimensional models are extremely helpful in elucidating the individual roles of the three main active elements of lamellipodial motility: contraction, protrusion and adhesion. Moreover, by shifting the focus from shape to velocity, one-dimensional models reveal in an analytically transparent setting an intricate interplay between these mechanisms involving cooperation and competition.



Considerable part of this research was conducted in collaboration with J-F. Joanny and T. Putelat. We thank F. Alouges, D. Ambrosi, O. du Roure, J. Etienne, G. Geymonnat, A. Grosberg, K. Kruse, and C. Verdier for helpful discussions.


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mathematical InstituteUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  2. 2.LMS, CNRS-UMR 7649, École Polytechnique, Route de SaclayPalaiseauFrance

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