Bio-inspired materials for parsing matrix physicochemical control of cell migration: a review.
ABSTRACT Cell motility is ubiquitous in both normal and pathophysiological processes. It is a complex biophysical response elicited via the integration of diverse extracellular physicochemical cues. The extracellular matrix directs cell motility via gradients in morphogens (a.k.a. chemotaxis), adhesive proteins (haptotaxis), and stiffness (durotaxis). Three-dimensional geometrical and proteolytic cues also constitute key regulators of motility. Therefore, cells process a variety of physicochemical signals simultaneously, while making informed decisions about migration via intracellular processing. Over the last few decades, bioengineers have created and refined natural and synthetic in vitro platforms in an attempt to isolate these extracellular cues and tease out how cells are able to translate this complex array of dynamic biochemical and biophysical features into functional motility. Here, we review how biomaterials have played a key role in the development of these types of model systems, and how recent advances in engineered materials have significantly contributed to our current understanding of the mechanisms of cell migration.
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ABSTRACT: Tumor cell migration is essential for invasion and dissemination from primary solid tumors and for the establishment of lethal secondary metastases at distant organs. In vivo and in vitro models enabled identification of different factors in the tumor microenvironment that regulate tumor progression and metastasis. However, the mechanisms by which tumor cells integrate these chemical and mechanical signals from multiple sources to navigate the complex microenvironment remain poorly understood. In this review, we discuss the factors that influence tumor cell migration with a focus on the migration of transformed carcinoma cells. We provide an overview of the experimental and computational methods that allow the investigation of tumor cell migration, and we highlight the benefits and shortcomings of the various assays. We emphasize that the chemical and mechanical stimulus paradigms are not independent and that crosstalk between them motivates the development of new assays capable of applying multiple, simultaneous stimuli and imaging the cellular migratory response in real-time. These next-generation assays will more closely mimic the in vivo microenvironment to provide new insights into tumor progression, inform techniques to control tumor cell migration, and render cancer more treatable.Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS 08/2012; · 6.57 Impact Factor