Dr Guillaume Charras, UCL, London

Long and short time-scale rheology of living cell monolayers
When Feb 01, 2016
from 02:00 PM to 03:00 PM
Where LR8
Contact Name
Contact Phone 01865-273925
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 One-cell thick monolayers are the simplest tissues in multi-cellular organisms, yet they fulfil critical mechanical roles in development and normal physiology. To study their mechanics, we use an experimental system for tensile testing of freely suspended cultured monolayers that enables the examination of their mechanical behaviour at multi-, uni-, and sub-cellular scales. Using uniaxial stress relaxation experiments, we examined the rheology of cell monolayers on time-scales of seconds, minutes, and hours. At the shortest time-scales, ATP-independent processes dominated relaxation and appeared to result from intracellular water redistribution in response to the large imposed deformation. At minute time-scales, relaxation was ATP-dependent and due to junctional protein turnover. At hour time-scales, oriented cell divisions drove relaxation of tissue and the return to resting cell packing. As the application of a stretch naturally elongates cells within the monolayer along the stretch axis, oriented divisions in our system are a direct consequence of the propensity of cells to divide along their interphase long axis and does not require cells to detect mechanical cues other than their own shape.