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Envisioning migration: mathematics in both experimental analysis and modeling of cell behavior

Authors
Journal
Current Opinion in Cell Biology
0955-0674
Publisher
Elsevier
Volume
25
Issue
5
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.ceb.2013.04.004
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Mathematics

Abstract

The complex nature of cell migration highlights the power and challenges of applying mathematics to biological studies. Mathematics may be used to create model equations that recapitulate migration, which can predict phenomena not easily uncovered by experiments or intuition alone. Alternatively, mathematics may be applied to interpreting complex data sets with better resolution—potentially empowering scientists to discern subtle patterns amid the noise and heterogeneity typical of migrating cells. Iteration between these two methods is necessary in order to reveal connections within the cell migration signaling network, as well as to understand the behavior that arises from those connections. Here, we review recent quantitative analysis and mathematical modeling approaches to the cell migration problem.

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