Geometric control by active mechanics of epithelial gap closure

Seminario del Dipartimento di Matematica
9 aprile 2024
Orario di inizio 
Polo Ferrari 1 - Via Sommarive 5, Povo (Trento)
Aula A217
Organizzato da: 
Dipartimento di Matematica
Comunità universitaria
Comunità studentesca UniTrento
Ingresso libero
Dott. Simone Pezzuto
Staff Dipartimento di Matematica
Giulia Pozzi (Politecnico di Torino)


Epithelial wound healing is one of the most important biological processes occurring during the lifetime of an organism. It is a self-repair mechanism closing wounds or gaps within tissues to restore their functional integrity. In this talk I will derive a new diffuse interface model for the gap closure by means of a variational principle in the framework of non-equilibrium thermodynamics. The proposed model accounts for the interplay between the crawling with lamellipodia protrusions and the supracellular purse-string tension, acting as Korteweg forces into the chemical potential. By means of an asymptotic analysis, I will show how these two mechanisms impose a pressure jump across the gap edge in the sharp interface limit. Finally, I will present the results of the Finite Element simulations showing an excellent quantitative agreement between the closing dynamics and the morphology of the edge with respect to existing biological experiments. The results shed light on the geometrical control of the gap closure dynamics resulting from the active forces that are chemically activated around the gap edge [1].

[1] G. Pozzi, P. Ciarletta, Geometric control by active mechanics of epithelial gap closure,
Soft Matter, 2024.