Statistical and Biological Physics

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Cells perform a variety of vital tasks ranging from cell division to motion and force generation. These abilities are intrinsically dynamic and rely on active network structures consisting of cytoskeletal filaments and crosslinking motor proteins. How does collective dynamics at the macroscopic level emerge from interactions of individual filaments and motor proteins? We address this open question through a conceptual model for motor-induced motion in networks of interconnected filaments. A prominent representative of this class of structures is the mitotic spindle where motor-driven filament flux is essential to maintain shape and functionality. more

In recent years, a large number of experimental studies has been published, addressing the emergence of single and collective cell migration in a large variety of different setups and for a number of different cell types. With this solid body of experimental data as a basis, we aim to develop a comprehensive mechanistic picture that captures the emergence of collective phenomena as a function of single cellular traits. In particular, we aim to reconcile the two limiting cases of single-cell motility and tissue dynamics. more