It is widely believed that cells, derived from different species or different cell lines, behave differently. However, this study reports that a variety of forms and migration modes in isolated epithelial cells of Madin–Darby Canine Kidney type were observed, although the cells were taken from the same cell line and the experimental conditions were kept constant. To understand the diverse formation processes in such cell behavior, a simple mathematical model, namely the particle-fiber model, was constructed. In this model, a single cell is assumed to be composed of a multiple of particles, interconnected by stress fibers. The particles mimic focal adhesion biding to a substrate. The stress fibers mimic a cytoskeleton, that plays an important role in maintaining the shape and the movement of the cell. Here, a growth process was introduced, which varied the size of the particles and the thickness of the fibers in dependence on the forces exerted on the particles. Simulation of the results showed that various cell shapes can be self-organized even if the parameters, which describe cell properties and their interactions with environment, were kept constant.
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