Dynamical arrest of cell motion in tissues: a constant-density rigidity transition
Lisa Manning, Syracuse University
For important biological functions such as wound healing, embryonic development, and cancer tumorogenesis, cells must initially rearrange and move over relatively large distances, like a liquid. Subsequently, these same tissues must undergo buckling and support shear stresses, like a solid. Our work suggests that biological tissues can accommodate these disparate requirements because the tissues are close to glass or jamming transition. While recent self propelled particle models generically predict a glass/jamming transition that is driven by packing density φ and happens at some critical φc < 1, many confluent biological tissues appear to undergo a jamming transition at a constant density (φ = 1). I will discuss a new theoretical framework for predicting energy barriers and rates of cell migration in 2D tissue monolayers, and show that this model predicts a novel type of rigidity transition, which takes place at constant φ = 1 and depends only on single cell properties such as cell-cell adhesion, cortical tension and cell elasticity. I will discuss the implications of these ideas for understanding cancer tumor boundaries and metastasis and pattern formation during development.