Scientific article
Open access

Active morphogenesis of patterned epithelial shells

Published ineLife, vol. 12, e75878
Publication date2023-01-17
First online date2023-01-17

Shape transformations of epithelial tissues in three dimensions, which are crucial for embryonic development or in vitro organoid growth, can result from active forces generated within the cytoskeleton of the epithelial cells. How the interplay of local differential tensions with tissue geometry and with external forces results in tissue-scale morphogenesis remains an open question. Here, we describe epithelial sheets as active viscoelastic surfaces and study their deformation under patterned internal tensions and bending moments. In addition to isotropic effects, we take into account nematic alignment in the plane of the tissue, which gives rise to shape-dependent, anisotropic active tensions and bending moments. We present phase diagrams of the mechanical equilibrium shapes of pre-patterned closed shells and explore their dynamical deformations. Our results show that a combination of nematic alignment and gradients in internal tensions and bending moments is sufficient to reproduce basic building blocks of epithelial morphogenesis, including fold formation, budding, neck formation, flattening, and tubulation.

  • Active matter
  • Deforming surface
  • Fluid dynamics
  • Morphogenesis
  • Nematic order parameter
  • None
  • Physics of living systems
  • Tissue mechanics
Citation (ISO format)
KHOROMSKAIA, Diana, SALBREUX, Guillaume. Active morphogenesis of patterned epithelial shells. In: eLife, 2023, vol. 12, p. e75878. doi: 10.7554/eLife.75878
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal2050-084X

Technical informations

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