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The role of actin protrusion dynamics in cell migration through a degradable viscoelastic extracellular matrix: Insights from a computational model

Fig 13

Competition between protrusions for 3D migration through an anisotropic, uniaxial fibrillar ECM for a cell with 2 simultaneous protrusions.

The cell is polarized, with the front colored in turquoise and the rear in blue. The von Mises stress in the fibrillar part of the ECM is shown for solid ECM particles, while the degraded ECM is represented by black particles. Protrusions formed in the direction perpendicular to the fiber direction are weaker (lower fmat) and therefore quickly retracted due to rupture of the corresponding adhesions, allowing the cell to polarize and migrate along the fiber direction.

Fig 13