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Force Talk: Professor Xavier Trepat - Epithelial mechanobiology from the bottom up


22 Feb Image advertising the Force Talks seminar series Part of Force Talks

Join Professor Xavier Trepat from Institute for Bioengineering Catalonia for a Force Talk entitled 'Epithelial mechanobiology from the bottom up.'



Epithelial sheets form specialized 3D structures suited to their physiological roles, such as branched alveoli in the lungs, tubes in the kidney, and villi in the intestine. To generate and maintain these structures, epithelia must undergo complex 3D deformations across length and time scales. How epithelial shape arises from active stresses, viscoelasticity and luminal pressure remains poorly understood. I will present different approaches to study the mechanobiology of epithelial shape from the bottom up. I will discuss new technologies to design epithelia of arbitrary size and geometry and to subject them to controlled mechanical deformations in 3D. I will show that monolayers exhibit superelastic behavior when stretch is applied and that they readily buckle when tension is released. We use this phenomenology and a 3D vertex model to rationally direct spontaneous pattern formation, and hence engineer tissue folding. I will also present our recent advances to understand the mechanobiology of intestinal organoids. We map the three-dimensional cell-ECM and cell-cell forces in mouse intestinal organoids grown on soft hydrogels. We show that these organoids exhibit a non-monotonic stress distribution that defines mechanical and functional compartments. From these experiments we conclude that the stem cell compartment folds through apical constriction and that cells are pulled out of the crypt along a gradient of increasing tension, rather than pushed by a compressive stress downstream of mitotic pressure as previously assumed. This experimental and theoretical work unveils how patterned forces enable folding and collective migration in the intestinal crypt.


How to join:

This event will take place online via Microsoft Teams. Please email to receive the meeting link.

At this event

Sergi  Garcia-Manyes

Sergi Garcia-Manyes

Professor of Biophysics

Katelyn Spillane

Katelyn Spillane

Senior Lecturer in Experimental Biophysics

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