Dewetting of cellular monolayers
Institut Curie, Physico-chimie Curie- UMR 168, UPMC, 11 Rue Pierre et Marie Curie, 75231 Cedex 05, Paris, France
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Accepted: 23 April 2012
Published online: 17 May 2012
We investigate the physical principles of cellular layer stability. We show that cohesive cellular layers deposited on non-adhesive substrates are metastable and “dewet" by nucleation and growth of dry patches. The dewetting process can be induced either chemically by a non-adhesive surface treatment or, unlike simple liquids, physically by a decrease in the substrate rigidity. We thus unveil two mechanisms by which the integrity of cellular layers can be compromised. We interpret the opening dynamics by an analogy with the dewetting of viscous films. This analogy can be exploited to estimate parameters characterizing the mechanical response of a cellular layer.
Key words: Living systems: Multicellular Systems
© EDP Sciences, SIF, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2012