Regular Article - Living Systems
Morphologies of compressed active epithelial monolayers
Jožef Stefan Institute, Jamova 39, 1000, Ljubljana, Slovenia
2 Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, University of Ljubljana, Jadranska 19, 1000, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Accepted: 21 June 2021
Published online: 21 July 2021
Using a three-dimensional active vertex model, we numerically study the shapes of strained unsupported epithelial monolayers subject to active junctional noise due to stochastic binding and unbinding of myosin. We find that while uniaxial, biaxial, and isotropic in-plane compressive strains do lead to the formation of longitudinal, herringbone pattern, and labyrinthine folds, respectively, the villus morphology characteristic of, e.g., the small intestine appears only if junctional tension fluctuations are strong enough to fluidize the tissue. Moreover, the fluidized epithelium features villi even in the absence of compressive strain provided that the apico-basal differential surface tension is large enough. We analyze several details of the different epithelial forms including the role of strain rate and the modulation of tissue thickness across folds. Our results show that even unsupported, non-patterned epithelia can form nontrivial morphologies.
© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to EDP Sciences, SIF and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2021