Acta Biotheoretica 52 (4):343-363 (2004)
While the control of cell migration by biochemical and biophysical factors is largely documented, a precise quantification of cell migration parameters in different experimental contexts is still questionable. Indeed, these phenomenological parameters can be evaluated from data obtained either at the cell population level or at the individual cell level. However, the range within which both characterizations of cell migration are equivalent remains unclear. We analyse here to which extent both sources of data could be integrated within a unified description of cell migration by considering the motility of the endothelial cell line EAhy926. Using time-lapse video-microscopy and associated analysis of digital image time series, we quantified EAhy926 random motility coefficient, migration speed and trajectory persistence time in two different migration assays: the in vitro wound healing assay, and the cell-populated agarose drop assay. In order to analyse the agreement between independent quantifications of cell motility based either on individual cell analysis or cell population dynamic analysis, a theoretical multi-agents cellular model was developed and discussed as a possible theoretical framework able to unify these multi-scale data. Model simulations especially reveal the potential bias induced by cell proliferation and cell-cell adhesion when cell migration parameters are estimated from the extensively used in vitro wound healing assay.
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