Bart Smeets
Post Doctoral fellow, Institut Curie, Paris, France

“The role of active cell mechanics in self-organization processes – A study using meso-scale particle-based computational models”

Cells self-organize into tissues through the interplay of active cellular processes and the mechanical properties of cells and their environment. In this presentation, I will talk about my work using minimal computational models of self-propelled particles to study this interplay for multiple cell and tissue phenotypes. Starting with migrating epithelial cells in a two-dimensional substrate, I show how properties such as adhesive tension, contractility and cell repolarization can lead to various tissue phenotypes. Next, the same modeling framework is demonstrated to investigate the self-organization of progenitor cells in organoid structures, revealing a dynamical process that is similar to the compaction of an agitated granular materials. Finally, I show how new advanced computational models can be used to bridge the gap between vertex modeling and center-based models in order to simulate the properties of microtissues based on measurable single cell mechanical properties.