Dynamics of disordered biological structures: mechanical networks

Dynamics of disordered biological structures: mechanical networks and embryo
Dr Alexandre Kabla
University of Cambridge
The mechanical properties of tissues are largely controlled by networks of crosslinked fibres that exist inside the cells (cytoskeleton) as well as in the extra-cellular
matrix (mostly collagen based). A proper understanding of the mechanical properties
of these systems is still lacking, in part due to the fact that their structure is disordered
and dynamic, both at the filament scale and at the network scale. In the first part of
this talk, we will study a simple network model that allows us to highlight the role of
the network coordination and displacement non-affinity in the overall response.
In the second part, I will address the case of embryo-tissues that undergo massive
morphological changes in the course of development. Quantifying the relationship
between tissue deformation and cellular behavior is key to identifying parameters
controlling these processes, and possibly understand the way they are regulated. I will
introduce and illustrate the concepts and tools we have developed to monitor live
embryo morphogenesis with an appropriate temporal and spatial resolution.