Mapping forces and kinematics during collective cell migration

Author (s): Serra-Picamal, X.; Conte, V.; Sunyer, R.; Muñoz, J.J.; Trepat, X.
Journal: Methods in Cell Biology

Volume: 125
Pages: 309 – 330
Date: 2015

Fundamental biological processes including morphogenesis and tissue repair require cells to migrate collectively. In these processes, epithelial or endothelial cells move in a cooperative manner coupled by intercellular junctions. Ultimately, the movement of these multicellular systems occurs through the generation of cellular forces, exerted either on the substrate via focal adhesions (cell–substrate forces) or on neighboring cells through cell–cell junctions (cell–cell forces). Quantitative measurements of multicellular forces and kinematics with cellular or subcellular resolution have become possible only in recent years. In this chapter, we describe some of these techniques, which include particle image velocimetry to map cell velocities, traction force microscopy to map forces exerted by cells on the substrate, and monolayer stress microscopy to map forces within and between cells. We also describe experimental protocols to perform these measurements. The combination of these techniques with high-resolution imaging tools and molecular perturbations will lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying collective cell migration in health and disease.



title = "Chapter 17 - Mapping forces and kinematics during collective cell migration ",
editor = "Ewa K. Paluch",
booktitle = "Biophysical Methods in Cell Biology",
publisher = "Academic Press",
year = "2015",
volume = "125",
pages = "309 - 330",
series = "Methods in Cell Biology ",
issn = "0091-679X",
doi = "",
url = "",
author = "Xavier Serra-Picamal and Vito Conte and Raimon Sunyer and José J. Muñoz and Xavier Trepat",