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Phys Rev Lett. 2015 Jun 5;114(22):228101. Epub 2015 Jun 2.

Propagating Stress Waves During Epithelial Expansion.

Author information

1
James Franck Institute, The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.
2
Department of Physics, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York 13244, USA.
3
Syracuse Biomaterials Institute, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York 13244, USA.

Abstract

Coordinated motion of cell monolayers during epithelial wound healing and tissue morphogenesis involves mechanical stress generation. Here we propose a model for the dynamics of epithelial expansion that couples mechanical deformations in the tissue to contractile activity and polarization in the cells. A new ingredient of our model is a feedback between local strain, polarization, and contractility that naturally yields a mechanism for viscoelasticity and effective inertia in the cell monolayer. Using a combination of analytical and numerical techniques, we demonstrate that our model quantitatively reproduces many experimental findings [Nat. Phys. 8, 628 (2012)], including the buildup of intercellular stresses, and the existence of traveling mechanical waves guiding the oscillatory monolayer expansion.

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