Epithelial cells can assemble into cohesive monolayers with rich morphologies on substrates due to competition between elastic, edge, and interfacial effects. Here we present a molecularly based thermodynamic model, integrating monolayer and substrate elasticity, and force-mediated focal adhesion formation, to elucidate the active biochemical regulation over the cellular force landscapes in cohesive epithelial monolayers, corroborated by microscopy and immunofluorescence studies. The predicted extracellular traction and intercellular tension are both monolayer size and substrate stiffness dependent, suggestive of cross-talks between intercellular and extracellular activities. Our model sets a firm ground toward a versatile computational framework to uncover the molecular origins of morphogenesis and disease in multicellular epithelia.
npj Computational Materials – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 14, 2018
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