Universal Statistical Laws for the Velocities of Collective Migrating Cells


Lin, S. ‐Z. ; Chen, P. ‐C. ; Guan, L. ‐Y. ; Shao, Y. ; Hao, Y. - K. ; Li, Q. ; Li, B. ; Weitz, D. A. ; Feng, X. ‐Q. Universal Statistical Laws for the Velocities of Collective Migrating Cells. Advanced Biosystems 2020, 4 2000065. Copy at http://www.tinyurl.com/y2qbx3ka
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Migratory dynamics of collective cells is central to the morphogenesis of biological tissues. The statistical distribution of cell velocities in 2D confluent monolayers is measured through large‐scale and long‐term experiments of various cell types lying on different substrates. A linear relation is discovered between the variability and the mean of cell speeds during the jamming process of confluent cell monolayers, suggesting time‐invariant distribution profile of cell velocities. It is further found that the probability density function of cell velocities obeys the non‐canonical q‐Gaussian statistics, regardless of cell types and substrate stiffness. It is the Tsallis entropy, instead of the classical Boltzmann–Gibbs entropy, that dictates the universal statistical laws of collective cell migration. The universal statistical law stems from cell–cell interactions, as demonstrated by the wound healing experiments. This previously unappreciated finding provides a linkage between cell‐level heterogeneity and tissue‐level ensembles in embryonic development and tumor growth.

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