10th Annual Symposium
Physics of Cancer
Leipzig, Germany
September 25-27, 2019
Invited Talk
3D motion of cancer cells in confined space
Timo Betz
University of Münster, Institute of Cell Biology, ZMBE, Von-Esmarch-Straße 56, 48149 Münster, Germany
Contact:  | Website
Metastasis and invasion along-side, precise development, tissue rearrangement and wound healing are key biological processes that depend on collective cell migration. Thanks to a focused research effort in the past decades our understanding has made enormous advances in the description of collective cell migration. However, we are only slowly starting to assemble quantitative models that allow us to understand and predict the different migration phenotypes, and their relationship to different material states. Currently, it is well established that such different migratory phenotypes depend on several external, physical as well as internal, molecular parameters. This knowledge is based on recent groundbreaking studies on 2D epithelial tissue dynamics showing switch like behavior in motility phenotypes that is often paraphrased by physical phase transition, from solid-like to fluid or to gas-like.

We study the collective migration inside 3D cancer spheroids, and find that tuning collagen concentration leads to massive migration changes ranging from jammed over fluid like to burst like outgrowth. The bursting phenotype can be explained by a up-regulation of cellular contractility leading to a homeostatic pressure increase until a critical value of the surface tension is reached, where the outer layer ruptures and the cells within the spheroid are rapidly pressed out of the model tumor.
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