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The general growth logistics of cell populations


Kemkemer,  R.
Cellular Biophysics, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;

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Kilian, H. G., Bartkowiak, D., Kaufmann, D., & Kemkemer, R. (2008). The general growth logistics of cell populations. Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics, 51(2-3), 51-66. doi:10.1007/s12013-008-9012-9.

An increment model based on thermodynamics lays bare that the cell size distributions of archaea, prokaryotes and eukaryotes are optimized and belong to the same universal class. Yet, when a cell absorbs mass or signals are processed, these conditions are disturbed. Relaxation re-installs ideal growth conditions via an exponential process with a rate that slows down with the cell size. In a growing ensemble, a distribution of relaxation modes comes in existence, exactly defined by the universal cell size distribution. The discovery of nano-mechanic acoustic activities in cells led us to assume that in a growing ensemble acoustic signals may contribute significantly to the transmission of essential information about growth-induced disturbances to all cells, initiating that way coordinated relaxation. The frequency increases with the cell number shortening the period between successive signals. The completion of rearrangements occurring at a constant rate is thus progressively impaired, until cellular growth stops, totally. Due to this phenomenon, the so-called "relaxation-frequency-dispersion" cell colonies should exhibit a maximum cell number. In populations with large cell numbers, subsystems, behaving similar-like colonies, should form network-like patterns. Based on these ideas, we formulate equations that describe the growth curves of all cell types, verifying that way the general nature of the growth logistics.