Margaret Gardel

University of Chicago


Active Matter controlling Epithelial Dynamics


Fluids and Materials Seminar


17th February 2022, 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Zoom, Zoom link sent in email


My lab is interested in the active and adaptive materials that underlie control of cell shape. This has centered around understanding force transmission and sensing within the actin cytoskeleton. I will first review our current understanding of the types of active matter that can be constructed by actin polymers. I will then turn to our recent experiments to understand how Cell shape changes in epithelial tissue. I will describe the two sources of active stresses within these tissues, one driven by the cell cycle and controlling cell-cell stresses and the other controlled by cell-matrix sigaling controlling motility. I will then briefly describe how we are using optogenetics to locally control active stresses to reveal adaptive and force-sensitive mechanics of the cytoskeletal machinery. Hopefully, I will convince you that recent experimental and theoretical advances make this a very promising time to study this quite complicated form of active matter!





Organiser: Rachel Bennett

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