Biological tissues are composed of cells that adhere to the extracellular matrix (ECM) via cell-surface integrin receptors that bind to specific proteins, such as fibronectin, embedded in the matrix. In this manner, the ECM functions as a structural support for the attached cells, and mechanical forces are able to be transmitted from the cell to the ECM and vice versa [1]. Cell migration, a process that is highly dependent on these mechanical interactions, is important for many normal biological processes and diseases that occur in the human body, which include embryonic development, immune response, would healing, and cancer invasion [2]. Though many continuum models of cell migration have been proposed, there is still a need for a model that can be used to quantitatively understand the mechanical factors that can influence the movement of a cell on a substrate. This would be invaluable to the research areas of tissue engineering as well as cancer metastasis. We utilized a finite element model to elucidate the mechanism of cell-substrate interactions for a cell that consistently migrates in a single direction. Our model follows the approach taken by Gracheva and Othmer [2], but we extended their model to describe two-dimensional plane strain behavior.

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