Collective Mechanics of Epithelial Cells

Event Details
  • Date/Time:
    • Monday November 10, 2014 - Tuesday November 11, 2014
      10:00 am - 10:59 am
  • Location: Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering & Bioscience, Room 1128
  • Phone: (404) 894-6228
  • URL:
  • Email:
  • Fee(s):
  • Extras:

Andrés García, PhD - faculty host


Summary Sentence: Aaron F. Mertz, PhD - Rockefeller University

Full Summary: "Collective Mechanics of Epithelial Cells" - Aaron F. Mertz, PhD - Rockefeller University

"Collective Mechanics of Epithelial Cells"

Aaron F. Mertz, PhD

National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Biology
Rockefeller University

Individual cells interact mechanically to regulate myriad biological processes. Mechanical cooperation of cells is evident in dynamic processes such as muscle contraction and flow-induced alignment of vascular cells. Cells’ mechanical interactions also influence tissues’ static material properties, including elastic modulus, surface tension, and fracture toughness. Little is known about how these tissue-scale mechanical phenomena emerge from interactions at molecular and cellular levels. Employing skin cells and skin tissue, we utilize tools of cell biology, mechanical engineering, and theoretical physics to delineate how a tissue cannot be understood simply as an assembly of single cells. Specifically, we show how multicellular colonies collectively apply force to their surroundings, exhibit a property reminiscent of surface tension, and de-mix according to differential intercellular adhesion. Finally, we explore cell proliferation and morphogenesis in developing epidermis in order to understand how a stratified epithelium is built mechanically in vivo. Our findings have implications for mechanical regulation of epithelial cells during development, homeostasis, and disease.

Additional Information

In Campus Calendar

Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience (IBB)

Invited Audience
Undergraduate students, Faculty/Staff, Graduate students
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  • Created By: Colly Mitchell
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Oct 31, 2014 - 5:11am
  • Last Updated: Apr 13, 2017 - 5:21pm