(I) To develop and test nonlinear mathematical models of cell evolution / locomotion based on active mechanosensing, and to explain cell migration phenomena accordingly through simulation.
(ii) To investigate the nonlinearities in the mechanical behaviour of the fibrous extracellular matrix, to understand the instabilities that govern its behaviour, and to clarify how they result in a phase transition that is exploited by cells for mechanosensing and ECM remodelling. The tool here is modelling: we develop and test models of the ECM as a discrete fiber network and as a highly nonlinear continuum and investigate the similarities and differences of the two models using numerical analysis techniques to develop appropriate numerical methods.