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J Biomech. 2017 Feb 8;52:140-147. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2016.12.035. Epub 2016 Dec 29.

Collective dynamics of cancer cells confined in a confluent monolayer of normal cells.

Author information

1
Institute of Biomechanics and Medical Engineering, AML, Department of Engineering Mechanics, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China.
2
Institute of Biomechanics and Medical Engineering, AML, Department of Engineering Mechanics, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China. Electronic address: libome@tsinghua.edu.cn.
3
Department of Engineering Mechanics and International Center for Applied Mechanics, State Key Laboratory for Strength and Vibration of Mechanical Structures, Xi׳an Jiaotong University, Xi׳an 710049, China.
4
Institute of Biomechanics and Medical Engineering, AML, Department of Engineering Mechanics, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China. Electronic address: fengxq@tsinghua.edu.cn.

Abstract

Tumorigenesis often involves specific changes in cell motility and intercellular adhesion. Understanding the collective cancer cell behavior associated with these specific changes could facilitate the detection of malignant characteristics during tumor growth and invasion. In this study, a cellular vertex model is developed to investigate the collective dynamics of a disk-like aggregate of cancer cells confined in a confluent monolayer of normal cells. The effects of intercellular adhesion and cell motility on tumor progression are examined. It is found that the stresses in both the cancer cells and the normal cells increase with tumor growth, resulting in a crowded environment and enhanced cell apoptosis. The intercellular adhesion between cancer cells and normal cells is revealed to promote tumor growth and invasion. The tumor invasion dynamics hinges on the motility of cancer cells. The cancer cells could orchestrate into different collective migration modes, e.g., directional migration and rotational oscillations, dictated by the competition between cell persistence and local coordination. Phase diagrams are established to reveal the competitive mechanisms. This work highlights the role of mechanics in regulating tumor growth and invasion.

KEYWORDS:

Cancer invasion; Cell motility; Collective cellular dynamics; Tumor growth

PMID:
28063647
DOI:
10.1016/j.jbiomech.2016.12.035
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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