Cell Migration Paths of Epithelial Cells Resemble Levy Modulated Correlated Random Walk Pattern
Alka A. Potdar1, Junhwan Jeon1, Alissa M. Weaver2, and Peter T. Cummings1. (1) Department of Chemical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235-1604, (2) Cancer Biology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 448 Preston Research Building, Nashville, TN 37232
Cellular tracks of MCF-10A pbabe, neuN and neuT random migration on 2-D plastic substrates, analyzed using Bimodal analysis, were found to reveal a Levy modulated correlated random work pattern. We find two types of Levy flights (corresponding to the directional and re-orientation phases) having a specific form of turn angle distribution representing correlation between move step lengths within flights. The Levy exponent, μ, for both the power-law distributed flights was found to be close to 2. This is reminiscent of foraging strategies adopted by various organisms from sea creatures, bumble-bees to micro-zooplankton in randomly distributed nutrient conditions where Levy walk has been found to be an optimum strategy to enhance encounter with food. The presence of non-uniform turn angle distribution of move-step lengths within a flight and the power-law distributed flights indicate that the epithelial cells might be exhibiting a Levy modulated correlated random walk (LMCRW). Moreover, the early super diffusive nature of mean squared displacement of the cells confirm the Levy modulation.