A biased random walk approach for modeling the collective chemotaxis of neural crest cells

Viktoria Freingruber*, Kevin J. Painter, Mariya Ptashnyk, Linus J. Schumacher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Downloads (Pure)


Collective cell migration is a multicellular phenomenon that arises in various biological contexts, including cancer and embryo development. ‘Collectiveness’ can be promoted by cell-cell interactions such as co-attraction and contact inhibition of locomotion. These mechanisms act on cell polarity, pivotal for directed cell motility, through influencing the intracellular dynamics of small GTPases such as Rac1. To model these dynamics we introduce a biased random walk model, where the bias depends on the internal state of Rac1, and the Rac1 state is influenced by cell-cell interactions and chemoattractive cues. In an extensive simulation study we demonstrate and explain the scope and applicability of the introduced model in various scenarios. The use of a biased random walk model allows for the derivation of a corresponding partial differential equation for the cell density while still maintaining a certain level of intracellular detail from the individual based setting.
Original languageEnglish
Article number32
JournalJournal of Mathematical Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2024


  • 92B05
  • Biased random walk
  • Chemotaxis
  • Collective migration
  • Neural crest

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Modelling and Simulation


Dive into the research topics of 'A biased random walk approach for modeling the collective chemotaxis of neural crest cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this