We develop a quantitative model of mechanical repolarization in a contraction-driven gel layer mimicking a crawling cell. We show that the force-velocity relations for such active crawlers exhibit multi-valuedness and hysteresis under both force and velocity control. The model predicts steady oscillations of cells attached to an elastic environment and offers a self-consistent mechanical explanation for all experimentally observed outcomes of cell collision tests.
- active particle
- cell crawling, active gel
- cell oscillations
- contact inhibition of locomotion
- force-velocity relations