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Recently, using two-photon imaging it has been found that the movement of B and T cells in lymph nodes can be described by a random walk with persistence of orientation in the range of 2 minutes. We interpret this new class of lymphocyte motility data within a theoretical model. The model considers cell movement to be composed of the movement of subunits of the cell membrane. In this way movement and deformation of the cell are correlated to each other. We find that, indeed, the lymphocyte movement in lymph nodes can best be described as a random walk with persistence of orientation. The assumption of motility induced cell elongation is consistent with the data. Within the framework of our model the two-photon data suggest that T and B cells are in a single velocity state with large stochastic width. The alternative of three different velocity states with frequent changes of their state and small stochastic width is less likely. Two velocity states can be excluded.

Original publication




Journal article


Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys

Publication Date





Algorithms, Cell Membrane, Cell Movement, Cell Size, Cells, Cultured, Computer Simulation, Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted, Lymphocytes, Membrane Fluidity, Microscopy, Fluorescence, Multiphoton, Models, Biological, Stochastic Processes