Elastic interactions between anisotropically contracting circular cells

Roman Golkov, Yair Shokef

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We study interactions between biological cells that apply anisotropic active mechanical forces on an elastic substrate. We model the cells as thin disks that along their perimeters apply radial, but angle-dependent forces on the substrate. We obtain analytical expressions for the elastic energy stored in the substrate as a function of the distance between the cells, the Fourier modes of applied forces, and their phase angles. We show how the relative phases of the forces applied by the cells can switch the interaction between attractive and repulsive, and relate our results to those for linear force dipoles. For long enough distances, the interaction energy decays in magnitude as a power law of the cell-cell distance with an integer exponent that generally increases with the Fourier modes of the applied forces.

Original languageEnglish
Article number032418
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number3
StatePublished - 26 Mar 2019


FundersFunder number
Ela Kodesz institute for medical physics and engineering
United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation
Israel Science Foundation968/16


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