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Elucidating optimal biological tissue shape during growth

Date:
June 11, 2014
Source:
Springer Science+Business Media
Summary:
The role of cells' alignment in shaping biological tissue has been the focus of recent research. This study's hypothesis is that if the cells that constitute a tissue are organized and aligned collectively in the same direction, the force produced by each individual cell division event builds up. The authors show that the accumulation of forces may be sufficient to shape the biological tissue by elongating it.
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A team of European scientists has now extended a previous biophysical model to investigate elongated growth within biological tissues by describing the evolution over time of the shape of a fruit fly's wing. They found the aspect ratio of the typical biological shapes may exhibit a maximum at finite time and then decrease.

For sufficiently large tissues, the shape is expected to approach that of a disk or sphere. These findings have been reported by Carles Blanch-Mercader from the University of Barcelona, Spain, and colleagues, in a paper published in European Physical Journal E. They provide a more general classification than previously available of the different types of morphologies a tissue can be expected to attain, depending on its initial size and its physical properties.

In this study, the authors consider a model of the biological tissue represented as a so-called active nematic fluid. It consists of self-aligned cells that have long-range directional order, with their long axes roughly parallel. The authors also integrated the dynamics of the tissue shape related to cell division-by focusing on time scales much longer than the cell cycle-using so-called conformal mapping techniques.

The model takes into account the previously identified local force that a cell produces when it starts dividing to replicate, which is distributed in a way that is dependent on the direction of growth. It also accounts for two other realistic forces typically found in biological tissues: friction with the environment and capillary tension caused by cell aggregates.

This study's hypothesis is that if the cells that constitute a tissue are organized and aligned collectively in the same direction, the force produced by each individual cell division event builds up. The authors show that the accumulation of forces may be sufficient to shape the biological tissue by elongating it.


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The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Springer Science+Business Media. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. C. Blanch-Mercader, J. Casademunt, J. F. Joanny. Morphology and growth of polarized tissues. The European Physical Journal E, 2014; 37 (5) DOI: 10.1140/epje/i2014-14041-2

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Springer Science+Business Media. "Elucidating optimal biological tissue shape during growth." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140611093441.htm>.
Springer Science+Business Media. (2014, June 11). Elucidating optimal biological tissue shape during growth. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140611093441.htm
Springer Science+Business Media. "Elucidating optimal biological tissue shape during growth." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140611093441.htm (accessed July 30, 2015).

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