Differential motility as a mechanism for cell sorting
Charlotte Strandkvist, University College London, U.K.

The motility of cells within aggregates depends on their local environment. Yet, in the context of cell sorting, motility has been regarded either as random or treated as a property intrinsic to the cell. We present a minimal model demon- strating that segregation can emerge from differences in the speed of diffusion due only to the composition of the local environment each cell finds itself in. The time course of segregation follows a power-law, in agreement with the scaling observed experimentally. The model addresses how the kinetics at the level of individual cells give rise to the segregation behaviour observed macroscopically. In particular, it suggests how the differential adhesion hypothesis may be recast as a kinetic mechanism.

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