Cell and tissue mechanobiology

Mechanics plays a prominent role in fundamental biological processes at the level of individual cells and of groups of cells forming tissues. Examples include cell division, the development of embryos, the ability of adult tissues to resist stress and self-repair, or cell migration during cancer invasion. In recent years, a wealth of quantitative experiments have demonstrated a tight interaction between mechanics and biological regulation. These observations also suggest that despite the daunting molecular and structural complexity of cells and tissues, there are simple underlying principles that govern their behaviour. Our goal is to use theoretical modelling and computer simulations to identify such principles. Besides recapitulating specific observations in developing embryos or in-vitro controlled systems, we aim at developing theories and simulations, which will allow us to predict and rationally manipulate living matter.

 Research Lines:
 • Understanding the dynamics of bilayer membranes and their interaction with membrane proteins.
 • Modeling epithelial mechanics.
 • Developing mathematical models and finite element methods for coupled systems of interfacial/bulkpartial differential equations.
 • Developing numerical tools for inferring the forces that drive morphogenesis.
 • Modeling cell migration and wound healing processes.
 • Describing the smaller scales of biological tissues.
 • Bridging the scale gap between the organ or organoid level and the subcellular level.

This program is divided into three research groups as following:

Mechanics of soft and
living interfaces

Cell and tissue mechanics
in embryogenesis

Multiscale and multiphysics modeling
in mechanobiology

M. Arroyo (Progam coordinator)

J.J. Muñoz

P. Saez