Collective cell migration: Implications for wound healing and cancer invasion

Li Li, Yong He, Min Zhao, Jianxin Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


During embryonic morphogenesis, wound repair and cancer invasion, cells often migrate collectively via tight cell-cell junctions, a process named collective migration. During such migration, cells move as coherent groups, large cell sheets, strands or tubes rather than individually. One unexpected finding regarding collective cell migration is that being a "multicellular structure"enables cells to better respond to chemical and physical cues, when compared with isolated cells. This is important because epithelial cells heal wounds via the migration of large sheets of cells with tight intercellular connections. Recent studies have gained some mechanistic insights that will benefit the clinical understanding of wound healing in general. In this review, we will briefly introduce the role of collective cell migration in wound healing, regeneration and cancer invasion and discuss its underlying mechanisms as well as implications for wound healing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-26
Number of pages6
JournalBurns and Trauma
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 1 2013


  • cancer invasion
  • collective migration
  • E-cadherin
  • mechanical force Introduction
  • Wound healing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Dermatology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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