Sabrina is a rising senior at The City College of New York studying biomedical engineering. She is working in Dr. Amit Pathak’s lab, where she is analyzing collective cell migration using computational modeling. Sabrina plans to attend graduate school to pursue research in tissue engineering.
Modeling fibroblast-led collective invasion of carcinoma cells with differing mechanically mediated factors.
Sabrian Shafi, David Reynolds
Prevention of cancer cell dissemination and secondary tumor formation is a major goal of cancer therapy as a majority of cancer deaths are related to metastasis. Metastasis is initiated by the collective invasion of carcinoma cells into local epithelial tissue. Carcinoma cells are able to migrate away from the initial site by following the mechanically-mediated signalings produced by the stromal fibroblasts. Computational modeling offers a simplistic way of isolating the key factors responsible for cancer cell invasion, which is not a possibility in vivo and in vitro studies. By utilizing CompuCell3D software, our model reveals that force-applied fibroblasts with low adhesion energies between fibroblasts and cancer cells demonstrate characteristics of cancer cell invasion as described in the literature. In the future, protease-mediated pathways can also be integrated into the model to better represent the biological phenomena. Using computational models to reproduce cancer cell migration can identify key modulators of its early metastasis.