One-cell thick monolayers are the simplest tissues in multi-cellular organisms, yet they fulfil critical roles in development and normal physiology. In early development, embryonic morphogenesis results largely from monolayer rearrangement and deformation due to internally generated forces. Later, monolayers act as physical barriers separating the internal environment from the exterior and must withstand externally applied forces. Though resisting and generating mechanical forces is an essential part of monolayer function, simple experimental methods to characterise monolayer mechanical properties are lacking. In consequence, our knowledge of the mechanical properties of cell monolayers is poor. In this seminar, I will present two recent studies on the mechanical properties of cell monolayers: one examining the mechanical properties of mature monolayers using a novel mechanical testing device and the other investigating the establishment of tissue-scale mechanical properties during the formation of new intercellular junctions using deep AFM indentation.
SEMS/IoB Seminar Series
Coffee/tea/biscuits provided after the seminar