How do the billions of cells communicate in order to perform tasks? The cells exert force on their environment through movement — and in doing so, they communicate. They work as a group in order to infiltrate their environment, perform wound healing and the like. They sense the stiffness or softness of their surroundings and this helps them connect and organize their collective effort. But when the connection between cells is distrubeddisturbed, a situation just like when cancer is initiated, can appear.
Assistant Professor Amin Doostmohammadi at the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen has investigated the mechanics of cell movement and connection in an interdisciplinary project, collaborating with biophysicists in France, Australia, and Singapore, using both computer modelling and biological experiments. The result is now published in Nature Materials.