In biophysics, systems are overwhelmingly complex. There are so many possibly relevant - yet not precisely known - interactions between the components that one cannot simply attempt to compute the "properties of the given system". There is no well-defined system to start with !
In order to ask meaningful questions, biologists have long ago learned to focus on purpose and function. Once you know the useful function a system is supposed to perform, you get some idea which components and interactions might be absolutely relevant for that purpose and which are only of secondary importance.
For this reason, I believe that also in the field of cell mechanics, an integrative, function-oriented model would be very useful, no matter how simplistic. Such a functional multi-scale model should, in particular, make a logical connection between molecular reactions, cytoskeletal reorganizations at the mesoscopic level, and the final goal of a cell: to migrate and navigate in a complex environment.
My title for this new project will be "Integrative Model of Cell Migration". The posts related to the project will be denoted by IMCM [number].
IMCM will be minimalistic. Its main purpose is to provide a concrete visual model as a basis for further discussion. It will produce testable predictions and, hopefully, induce many new questions.
My ideas about the design of IMCM will be described in the following posts.