Lateral membrane waves constitute a universal dynamic pattern of motile cells

Hans Günther Döbereiner, Benjamin J. Dubin-Thaler, Jake M. Hofman, Harry S. Xenias, Tasha N. Sims, Grégory Giannone, Michael L. Dustin, Chris H. Wiggins, Michael P. Sheetz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Scopus citations


We have monitored active movements of the cell circumference on specifically coated substrates for a variety of cells including mouse embryonic fibroblasts and T cells, as well as wing disk cells from fruit flies. Despite having different functions and being from multiple phyla, these cell types share a common spatiotemporal pattern in their normal membrane velocity; we show that protrusion and retraction events are organized in lateral waves along the cell membrane. These wave patterns indicate both spatial and temporal long-range periodic correlations of the actomyosin gel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number038102
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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