Chemical and Physical Determinants of Cell Migration

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Chemical and Physical Determinants of Cell Migration

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Title: Chemical and Physical Determinants of Cell Migration
Author: Prentice Mott, Harrison Valentine
Citation: Prentice Mott, Harrison Valentine. 2014. Chemical and Physical Determinants of Cell Migration. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.
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Abstract: The phenomenon of directed cell motion in response to external directional cues has drawn significant interest for more than a century, with the first recorded observations of bacterial chemotaxis at the end of the 19th century. Furthermore, movies generated by David Rogers while at Vanderbilt University of a peripheral blood neutrophil tracking a bacterium are a staple of any college biology class to demonstrate the phenomenon of eukaryotic chemotaxis. In just the last decade, our understanding of the biochemical mechanisms underlying the process of directed eukaryotic cell migration. As a result, several generalized processes have been identified, connecting multiple phenomena from cancer metastasis to axon guidance. Making further sense of the complex biochemical pathways requires both quantitative mathematical models and fine control over the external cellular environment. To this end, microfluidics has proven extremely useful, allowing for precise quantification of both the external environment and the cellular response.
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