Simulation of Chemotractant Gradients in Microfluidic Channels to Study Cell Migration Mechanism in Silico

P. Wallin[1], E. Bernson[1], J. Gold[1]
[1]Chalmers University of Technology, Applied Physics, Biological Physics, Gothenburg, Sweden

Cell migration of endothelial cells along gradients is an important process in vivo and an interesting target for cancer therapeutics. Microfluidics offer very powerful tools to study such migration processes in detail in the lab. In this study, we describe a model to simulate molecular gradients in a diffusion based microfluidic gradient generator and how a cell senses these gradients via cell receptors. The results show the importance of incorporating the binding reaction into the model and that there is a large difference between the molecular gradient in solution and the gradient sensed by the cell. The approach presented here allows capturing of the whole process from gradient formation with a microfluidic channel to binding of molecules to cell receptors.