University of Dundee

“Mechanics of cells and tissues”

Event Date: 
Thursday, April 4, 2019 - 14:00 to 15:00
Event Location: 
CTIR Sir Kenneth and Lady Noreen Murray Seminar Room
Professor Kees Weijer FRSE
Dr Rastko Sknepnek
Event Speaker: 
Dr Alexandre Kabla
Department of Engineering - Mechanics, Materials and Design Biomechanics University of Cambridge
Event Type: 

Division of Cell & Developmental Biology



Division of Computational Biology













Cell migration and cell mechanics play a crucial role in a number of key biological processes, such as embryo development or cancer metastasis. Understanding the way cells control their own material properties and mechanically interact with their environment is key. At a more fundamental level, there is need better measure, describe and monitor cell and tissue mechanics before we can formulate testable hypotheses.

In this talk, I will report experimental studies on the mechanical response of two different multicellular structures: epithelial monolayers and early embryonic tissues. In both cases, the material exhibits a strong time-dependant response over a broad distribution of time-scales. The combination of mechanical characterisation with biological perturbations offers new insight into the mechanisms exploited by cells and tissue to control their mechanical properties.

This insight is however limited by the lack of consistency in experimental protocols and modelling strategies used in the field. We recently developed a systematic approach to capture material properties from mechanical behaviours and made progress assessing the model’s generality over a broad range of biological systems.