Cell division and death inhibit glassy behaviour of confluent tissues

D. A. Matoz-Fernandez, K. Martens, Rastko Sknepnek, J. L. Barrat, S. Henkes

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38 Citations (Scopus)
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We investigate the effects of cell division and apopotosis on collective dynamics in two-dimensional epithelial tissues. Our model includes three key ingredients observed across many epithelia, namely cell-cell adhesion, cell death and a cell division process that depends on the surrounding environment. We show a rich non-equilibrium phase diagram depending on the ratio of cell death to cell division and on the adhesion strength. For large apopotosis rates, cells die out and the tissue disintegrates. As the death rate decreases, however, we show, consecutively, the existence of a gas-like phase, a gel-like phase, and a dense confluent (tissue) phase. Most striking is the observation that the tissue is self-melting through its own internal activity, ruling out the existence of any glassy phase.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to) 3205-3212
Number of pages7
JournalSoft matter
Early online date3 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

D. M.-F. and J.-L. B. acknowledge financial support from ERC grant ADG20110209 and NVIDIA Corporation through Academic Partnership Program. K.M. thanks grant ANR-14-CE32-0005 of the French Agence Nationale de la Recherche. SH and RS would like to thank Prof Inke Nathke and Prof Kees Weijer for many illuminated discussion on biology of developing tissues. RS acknowledges support by the UK EPSRC (award EP/M009599/1) and BBSRC (award BB/N009789/1). SH acknowledges support by the CPTGA visiting researcher fund that allowed her to spend time in Grenoble and the BBSRC (award BB/N009150/1).


  • cond-mat.soft
  • physics.bio-ph


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