Oct 29, 2018

Surface tension determines tissue shape and growth kinetics

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Sebastian EhrigJohn W C Dunlop


The growth of tissue is an essential process controlling morphogenesis and regeneration of organs. In general tissue forming cells are interactive and motile, which can give rise to emergent physical properties such as viscous fluid behaviour as has been shown for epithelial monolayers during embryogenesis, and for cell-agglomerates with a measurable surface tension. However, the mechanical integrity of tissues is provided by extracellular matrices (ECM) that turn tissues into solids with well-defined elastic properties. Paradoxically, it has been shown by in-vitro experiments that even osteoid-like tissue with large amounts of ECM grows according to rules reminiscent of fluid behavior. Motivated by this conundrum, we show here quantitatively, by constraining growing tissues to surfaces of controlled mean curvature, that osteoid-like tissues, develop shapes similar to the equilibrium shapes of fluids. In particular, for geometries with rotational symmetry, the tissue stays bounded by Delaunay surfaces and grows with rates depending on surface curvature. Actin stress-fibre patterns at the tissue surface suggests that cell contractility is responsible for generating the necessary surface stresses. This indicates that continuous r...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Extracellular Matrix Constituent Secretion
Lateral Part of Longitudinal Arch of Foot
Extracellular Matrix
Embryonic Development
In Vitro Study
Solid Organ

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