UPenn Dept of ARCH745, Nonlinear Systems Biology & Design (Sabin)
Philip Tribe, John Wheeler, Brian Zilis
Our interest lies in Cell Motility, specifically Actin Polymerization and how the essential building blocks of this process relate to each other, the entire cell, and the extracellular matrix. We’ve focused on the nucleation of actin molecules, the inherent process of nucleotide hydrolysis, and formation of actin filaments over a three phase process; lag, growth, and equilibrium. The last phase, more commonly known as “tread milling,” is the result of a balance between actin monomers assembling and disassembling on either end of a filament resulting in an overall trajectory that is related to the larger cell directionality. We are attempting to understand through various means of modeling and simulation the concept of Critical Concentration or Cc, both rapid polymerization and dynamic instability, and how these concepts may be applied to environmental sciences and systems on a larger scale.