IJS theoretical biophysics and soft matter seminars

[DBS seminar series] Bernat Corominas-Murtra, "Topological transitions and cell-cell adhesion properties in development"

by Dr Bernat Corominas-Murtra (Karl-Franzens University Graz)

Seminar room of physics (106) (IJS)

Seminar room of physics (106)


Jamova 39, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

The developmental process implies precise but significant changes in the geometry and structure of the embryonic tissues. Recent results show that apparently minor changes in adhesion at the local level of cell-cell contacts trigger deep, non-linear transitions in the topological organization of the whole embryonic tissue and, in consequence, change its material properties and facilitate geometrical deformations. Open questions remain, like the potential existence of causal feedbacks between cell differentiation processes and the potential heterogeneity of topological patterns existing within the tissue. The results presented in this talk are based on the fundamental assumption that predictive frameworks in theoretical biology must explore the  connection between different scales of the system. In this particular case, we use topology to establish a bridge between the system's scales defined by i) the cell level and ii) the tissue level. This enables us to predict global, non-trivial behaviours in tissues from the empirically feasible observables related to the mechanical properties of single cells.

Organized by

Theoretical Biophysics and Soft Matter Group