Collective cell streams in epithelial monolayers depend on cell adhesion

András Czirók, Katalin Varga, Elod Méhes, András Szabó

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)


We report spontaneously emerging, randomly oriented, collective streaming behavior within a monolayer culture of a human keratinocyte cell line, and explore the effect of modulating cell adhesions by perturbing the function of calcium-dependent cell adhesion molecules. We demonstrate that decreasing cell adhesion induces narrower and more anisotropic cell streams, reminiscent of decreasing the Taylor scale of turbulent liquids. To explain our empirical findings, we propose a cell-based model that represents the dual nature of cell-cell adhesions. Spring-like connections provide mechanical stability, while a cellular Potts model formalism represents surface-tension driven attachment. By changing the relevance and persistence of mechanical links between cells, we are able to explain the experimentally observed changes in emergent flow patterns.

Original languageEnglish
Article number075006
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2013


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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