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Plos One : the Mechanics of Metastasis ; Insights from a Computational Model, Volume 7

By Agur, Zvia

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Book Id: WPLBN0003961221
Format Type: PDF eBook :
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Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Plos One : the Mechanics of Metastasis ; Insights from a Computational Model, Volume 7  
Author: Agur, Zvia
Volume: Volume 7
Language: English
Subject: Journals, Science, Medical Science
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection (Contemporary)
Publication Date:
Publisher: Plos


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Agur, Z. (n.d.). Plos One : the Mechanics of Metastasis ; Insights from a Computational Model, Volume 7. Retrieved from

Description : Although it may seem obvious that mechanical forces are required to drive metastatic cell movements, understanding of the mechanical aspects of metastasis has lagged far behind genetic and biochemical knowledge. The goal of this study is to learn about the mechanics of metastasis using a cell-based finite element model that proved useful for advancing knowledge about the forces that drive embryonic cell and tissue movements. Metastasis, the predominant cause of cancerrelated deaths, involves a series of mechanical events in which one or more cells dissociate from a primary tumour, migrate through normal tissue, traverse in and out of a multi-layer circulatory system vessel and resettle. The present work focuses on the dissemination steps, from dissociation to circulation. The model shows that certain surface tension relationships must be satisfied for cancerous cells to dissociate from a primary tumour and that these equations are analogous to those that govern dissociation of embryonic cells. For a dissociated cell to then migrate by invadopodium extension and contraction and exhibit the shapes seen in experiments, the invadopodium must generate a contraction equal to approximately twice that produced by the interfacial tension associated with surrounding cells. Intravasation through the wall of a vessel is governed by relationships akin to those in the previous two steps, while release from the vessel wall is governed by equations that involve surface and interfacial tensions. The model raises a number of potential research questions. It also identifies how specific mechanical properties and the sub-cellular structural components that give rise to them might be changed so as to thwart particular metastatic steps and thereby block the spread of cancer.


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