|1- Eidi, Z., "Discrete Modeling of Amoeboid Locomotion and Chemotaxis in Dictyostelium discoideum by Tracking Pseudopodium Growth Direction", Scientific Reports, 7, 12675-1-12675 -10, (2017).|
Dictyostelium discoideum amoeba is a well-established model organism for studying the crawling locomotion of eukaryotic cells. These amoebae extend pseudopodium - a temporary actin-based protrusion of their body membrane to probe the medium and crawl through it. Experiments show highly-ordered patterns in the growth direction of these pseudopodia, which results in persistence cell motility. Here, we propose a discrete model for studying and investigating the cell locomotion based on the experimental evidences. According to our model, Dictyostelium selects its pseudopodium growth direction based on a second-order Markov chain process, in the absence of external cues. Consequently, compared to a random walk process, our model indicates stronger growth in the mean-square displacement of cells, which is consistent with empirical findings. In the presence of external chemical stimulants, cells tend to align with the gradient of chemoattractant molecules. To quantify this tendency, we define a coupling coefficient between the pseudopodium extension direction and the gradient of an external stimulant, which depends on the local stimulant concentration and its gradient. Additionally, we generalize the model to weak-coupling regime by utilizing perturbation methods.