A morphoelastic model of active T1 transitions in tissue
with Alex Nestor-Bergmann,
(PDN, University of Cambridge, developmental biology) and
Fletcher (Maths, Univ Sheffield)
To go beyond what the vertex model gives access to, we have modelled cell cortices as morphoelastic Kirchhoff rods interacting via stochastic adhesion bonds with neighbouring cells. We have made the system viscoelastic by prescribing instantaneous relaxation of elastic energy. Then we have simulated active neighbour exchanges, where one junction is pre-stressed by myosin activity.
The model shows that a key parameter is the turnover time
of adhesion bonds, allowing to switch mechanical interactions from
mostly local to global, and crucially changing the dynamics.
Read more in our PLOS Computational Biology paper and why not run the python code yourself?.
Video below: a cell intercalation (T1) event simulated. The cortex of each cell at the vertical cell-cell junction is subject to myosin pre-stress (denoted by blue line symbol), generating a tissue-wide stress in junctions (arrows) which in turn lead to deformations, and, beyond cortex turnover time scale, flow. After the contractile junction is actively removed, a new junction extends passively.