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Comet supercomputer reveals the mechanical process of cancer growth

According to the World Health Organization, one in six deaths worldwide is due to cancer. However, these deaths were not due to the first malignant tumor-; death was caused by the spread of cancer cells to surrounding tissues and subsequent tumor growth.

These tissues, predominantly collagen, have been the focus of recent collaborative research by a team from Stanford University and Purdue University.To get their job done, researchers Comet Supercomputer at the San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California, San Diego.

The code used for this study is computationally expensive, so it takes a lot of time to run a single simulation. Comet You can run many simulations at the same time to explore a large parametric space. Today, it is very difficult to find grants and funds that can be used to buy nodes and time on supercomputers, but such computing power is essential to carry out this research. “

Kim Tae-yun, Associate Professor, Faculty of Biomedical Engineering, Purdue University

This study describes the mechanical process of cell division, which begins with a significant change in the shape of the mother cell that separates chromosomes and other substances and then divides into two daughter cells.Many studies by multiple scholars have focused on the biological aspects of cell division, but this study outlines the process from a recent mechanical perspective. Advanced science A journal article entitled “Cell pushing force during mitosis promotes mitotic elongation of collagen gel”.

Ovijit Chaudhuri, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Stanford University, said: “Although the biology of cancer cell division has been studied in great detail, the mechanical aspects of how cells physically divide within tumors are not very clear, and by gaining a better understanding of this, It may lead to new treatments for treating tumors. “

Prior to this study, there was no study of how cells physically divide within a collagen gel. Researchers have investigated three possible mechanisms for creating the space in which cells need to divide: mitotic elongation, external force generation (pushing), or matrix degradation. The findings of this study have selected the pushing mechanism as an important factor in allowing mitosis to occur.

“This process has been extensively studied in Petri dishes (or plastic sheets), but cells in tissue must do this while surrounded by cells and the surrounding scaffolding known as extracellular matrix. No, “Chaudhuri explained. “Our recent study reports how mother cells push around during division to make room for daughter cells.”


Journal reference:

Nam, S. , et al.. (2021) The pressing force of cells during mitosis promotes the elongation of mitosis in collagen gel. Advanced science..

Comet supercomputer reveals the mechanical process of cancer growth

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