The findings also suggest that pre-established anisotropy is essential for the proper onset of the elongation process while defects in the integrity or bundling kinetics of actin bundles result in abnormal embryo extension, in good agreement with experimental observations (Fig. 2).
By revealing the mechanism by which active cellular forces and physical response of cells affect the extension dynamics of embryos, the study serves as a major step in furthering our understanding of embryonic development. In addition, given that many embryo diseases are caused by defected internal structure of cells along with their abnormal mechanical behavior, the theoretical framework developed could provide critical insights for the design of new strategies in detecting and possibly treating such disorders.
Dr. Lin’s reseach team is among the world’s most active groups in cell mechanics research, particularly in elucidating the physical mechanisms behind important biological processes such as tissue morphogenesis, cell adhesion, cell migration and mechanotransduction, as well as exploring their possible biomedical applications. To achieve these goals, they have been using theoretical modeling and large-scale simulation in conjunction with experimental tools like cutting-edge micro-/nano- fabrication and characterisation techniques. Their earlier works were published in major international academic journals such as Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) and Physical Review Letters.
Details of the published paper:
Force-mediated Cellular Anisotropy and Plasticity Dictate the Elongation Dynamics of Embryos. Chao Fang, Xi Wei, Xueying Shao and Yuan Lin.
Science Advances 30 Jun 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 27, eabg3264