“Mechanics of Epithelial Tissues: Structure, Rigidity and Fluidity”

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Tuesday, October 24, 2017 | 12:30 - 1:30 PM Add to Calendar

The Center for Theoretical Biological Physics presents Seminar Speaker:

Dapeng “Max” Bi
Assistant Professor
Department of Physics
Northeastern University

“Mechanics of Epithelial Tissues: Structure, Rigidity and Fluidity”

Tuesday, October 24, 2017
12:30 – 1:30 PM
BRC, 10th Floor, Room 1060 A/B

Abstract: Cells must move through tissues in many important processes, including development, cancer metastasis, and wound-healing. Often tissues are dense and a cell’s motion is strongly constrained by its neighbors, leading to glassy dynamics. Although there is a density-driven glass transition in particle-based models, these cannot fully explain liquid-solid transitions in confluent tissues. I will demonstrate the existence of a new type of rigidity transition that occurs in confluent tissues at constant density. The onset of rigidity is governed by a model parameter that encodes single-cell properties such as cell-cell adhesion and cortical tension. I will also introduce a new model that captures polarized cell motility and multicellular interactions in a confluent tissue and identify a glass transition that originates at the rigidity transition. This work provides an experimentally accessible parameter that helps to distinguish fluid and solid tissues. I will present a direct application of this theoretical framework to cultured Human Bronchial Epithelial Cells.

Bio: Dr. Bi obtained his PhD in physics from Brandeis University in 2012, his thesis work focused on understanding the mechanics of granular materials under the supervision of Bulbul Chakraborty. He did my postdoctoral training first at Syracuse University (working with Cristina Marchetti and Lisa Manning) where he began to work on the mechanics of biological cells and tissues. He then became an independent Sackler Fellow at Rockefeller University, where he worked on problems related to embryonic development and cancer. In January of 2017, Dr. Bi started his own group as an Assistant Professor at Northeastern University in Boston, MA.

An Official Seminar of the Ph.D. Program in Systems, Synthetic and Physical Biology at Rice University

For more information, visit: https://events.rice.edu/#!view/event/event_id/1029


BioScience Research Collaborative (BRC), 10th Floor, Room 1060 A/B

6500 Main St, Houston, TX 77030


Lisa Bennett