M. Cristina Marchetti

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Cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesions play essential roles in the function of tissues. There is growing evidence for the importance of cross talk between these two adhesion types, yet little is known about the impact of these interactions on the mechanical coupling of cells to the extracellular matrix (ECM). Here, we combine experiment and theory to reveal(More)
Cells generate mechanical stresses via the action of myosin motors on the actin cytoskeleton. Although the molecular origin of force generation is well understood, we currently lack an understanding of the regulation of force transmission at cellular length scales. Here, using 3T3 fibroblasts, we experimentally decouple the effects of substrate stiffness,(More)
To understand how the mechanical properties of tissues emerge from interactions of multiple cells, we measure traction stresses of cohesive colonies of 1–27 cells adherent to soft substrates. We find that traction stresses are generally localized at the periphery of the colony and the total traction force scales with the colony radius. For large colony(More)
Unicellular living organisms, such as bacteria and algae, propel themselves through a medium via cyclic strokes involving the motion of cilia and flagella. Dense populations of such "active particles" or "swimmers" exhibit a rich collective behavior at large scales. Starting with a minimal physical model of a stroke-averaged swimmer in a fluid, we derive a(More)
Engineering synthetic materials that mimic the remarkable complexity of living organisms is a fundamental challenge in science and technology. We studied the spatiotemporal patterns that emerge when an active nematic film of microtubules and molecular motors is encapsulated within a shape-changing lipid vesicle. Unlike in equilibrium systems, where defects(More)
Motivated by recent simulations and by experiments on aggregation of gliding bacteria, we study a model of the collective dynamics of self-propelled hard rods on a substrate in two dimensions. The rods have finite size, interact via excluded volume, and their dynamics is overdamped by the interaction with the substrate. Starting from a microscopic model(More)
We study numerically the phases and dynamics of a dense collection of self-propelled particles with soft repulsive interactions in two dimensions. The model is motivated by recent in vitro experiments on confluent monolayers of migratory epithelial and endothelial cells. The phase diagram exhibits a liquid phase with giant number fluctuations at low packing(More)
We study numerically and analytically a model of self-propelled polar disks on a substrate in two dimensions. The particles interact via isotropic repulsive forces and are subject to rotational noise, but there is no aligning interaction. As a result, the system does not exhibit an ordered state. The isotropic fluid phase separates well below close packing(More)
We present a minimal continuum model of strongly adhering cells as active contractile isotropic media and use the model to study the effect of the geometry of the adhesion patch in controlling the spatial distribution of traction and cellular stresses. Activity is introduced as a contractile, hence negative, spatially homogeneous contribution to the(More)
Using a minimal model of cells or cohesive cell layers as continuum active elastic media, we examine the effect of substrate thickness and stiffness on traction forces exerted by strongly adhering cells. We obtain a simple expression for the length scale controlling the spatial variation of stresses in terms of cell and substrate parameters that describes(More)