Persistent random motion: Uncovering cell migration dynamics

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In this paper we study analytically the stick-slip models recently introduced to explain the stochastic migration of free cells. We show that persistent motion of cells of many different types is compatible with stochastic reorientation models which admit an analytical mesoscopic treatment. This is proved by examining and discussing experimental data compiled from different sources in the literature, and by fitting some of these results too. We are able to explain many of the 'apparently complex' migration patterns obtained recently from cell tracking data, like power-law dependences in the mean square displacement or non-Gaussian behavior for the kurtosis and the velocity distributions, which depart from the predictions of the classical Ornstein-Uhlenbeck process. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)526-534
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2010


  • Ornstein-Uhlenbeck
  • Reorientation models
  • Speed distributions
  • Velocity models


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