417166 Mathematical Modeling of Tubulin Transport in Tumor Cells Under the Influence of Electrical Fields

Monday, November 9, 2015
Ballroom E (Salt Palace Convention Center)
Koteswararao Medidhi, chemical engineering, Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, TN

Recently, low magnitude, intermediate frequency alternating current (AC) applied electrical fields have been shown to disrupt cellular mitosis, having huge implications for cancer therapy. It has been hypothesized that these fields inhibit tubulin polymerization, preventing the formation of microtubules, thus arresting tumor cell division. Mathematical models based on fundamental principles can be used to gain a mechanistic understanding of tumor cell response to these fields. As a first step in understanding this behavior, we will present a preliminary model that couples tubulin transport to fluid motion within the cell when DC and AC electrical fields are applied. This is accomplished through the use of the electrokinetic-hydrodynamics (EKHD) approach to compute effective transport coefficients (effective velocity and diffusivity) of tubulin within tumor cells undergoing mitosis. These results will be compared to limiting cases in which there is no electrical field applied and when the cells are not undergoing mitosis.

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