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Research Abstracts Online
January 2009 - March 2010

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University of St. Thomas
College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Mathematics

PI: Magdalena Stolarska

Mathematical Modeling of Cell Motility and Cell-Substrate Interaction

Cell motility in multicellular organisms plays an essential role in various biological processes involved in health and development. The goal of this project is to better understand how the mechanics cell-substrate interaction affects cell motion. To do this, the PI is developing a three-dimensional model based on continuum mechanics for viscoelastic materials and that incorporates dynamics of cell-substrate interaction using principles of contact mechanics. The nonlinear system of governing differential equations requires significant computational resource in order to be solved numerically using the finite element method. The final goal of this project is to develop a simulation tool where one can investigate the effect of the mechanics of cell-substrate interaction on the movement of a variety of cell types.