Cancer is caused by an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in a part of the body. However, did you know that a majority of deaths associated with cancer are due to the metastasis of the original tumour cells to other sites distant from the source? Metastasis, is characterised by malignant cells from the primary tumour site migrating to other parts of the body. Our research is focussed on developing a quantitative understanding of this process of cell migration with the hope of finding novel ways to mitigate metastasis.
Multiscale and Multiphysics Modeling of Cancer Cell Migration
Cell migration is mediated by spatially localised interactions between the actin cytoskeleton and the extracellular matrix environment. We are developing biophysically realistic models of cell mechanics coupled to cell signalling to quantify and analyse the interactions between mechanics and signalling in cell motility.
Deconstructing Spatial Complexity in Cancer Cell Migration
Cancer cell migration depends on a plethora of physical and chemical factors, and migration paths exhibit considerable variability that is not currently predictable. Today, there are few experimental tools for distinguishing between the contributions to migration of extracellular matrix (ECM) properties, chemical signalling, and fluid flow in the ECM. We envisage a new approach to measuring and modelling how the migration of tumour cells may depend on (i) their proximity to other tumour cells and (ii) the geometrical properties of the ECM.