Cell mechanics

A fundamental aspect of cell biophysics is the cytoskeleton and its contractility generated by the acto-myosin molecular machinery. It is involved in cell motility, stem cells differentiation, force generation and also in numerous pathologies such as those associated with cancers. We have developed an experimental technique of protein patterning method able to control the architecture of single cells or cell duets. To understand the biophysics of single cell organization we adapted the Cellular Potts model to describe cells organization on a protein lattice with few thermodynamic parameters. The dynamic of the system however cannot be described by our models and remains an interesting challenge.

Experimental and simulated cell shapes using the Cellular Potts model. Green : adhesive constraints imposed by the protein lattice (green). Red: actin rich regions (stress fibres) that are under high tension.

More details here (pdf)

Q. Tseng et al. “Spatial organization of the extracellular matrix regulates cell–cell junction positioning”, PNAS 109, 1506 (2012) (link)

B. Vianay et al. “Cell spreading on a Protein Lattice Adopt an Energy Minimizing Shape”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 105, 128101 (2010) (link)

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