Mathematics of cell motility: Have we got its number?

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Mathematical and computational modeling is rapidly becoming an essential research technique complementing traditional experimental biological methods. However, lack of standardmodelingmethods, difficulties of translating biological phenomena into mathematical language, and differences in biological and mathematical mentalities continue to hinder the scientific progress. Here we focus on one area- cell motility-characterized by an unusually high modeling activity, largely due to a vast amount of quantitative, biophysical data, 'modular' character of motility, and pioneering vision of the area's experimental leaders. In this review, after brief introduction to biology of cell movements, we discuss quantitative models of actin dynamics, protrusion, adhesion, contraction, and cell shape and movement that made an impact on the process of biological discovery.We also comment on modeling approaches and open questions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-134
Number of pages30
JournalJournal Of Mathematical Biology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 2009


  • Actin
  • Adhesion
  • Cell mechanics
  • Cell motility
  • Contraction
  • Protrusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Mathematics


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