Cell aggregation : packing soft grains

J.A. Åström, M.E.J. Karttunen

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    Cellular aggregates may be considered as collections of membrane enclosed units with a pressure difference between the internal and external liquid phases. Cells are kept together by membrane adhesion and/or confined space compression. Pattern formation and, in particular, intercellular spacing have important roles in controlling solvent diffusion within such aggregates. A physical approach is used to study generic aspects of cellular packings in a confined space. Average material properties are derived from the free energy. The appearance of penetrating intercellular void channels is found to be critically governed by the cell wall adhesion mechanisms during the formation of dense aggregates. A fully relaxed aggregate efficiently hinders solvent diffusion at high hydrostatic pressures, while a small fraction (~0.1) of adhesion related packing frustration is sufficient for breaking such a blockage even at high a pressure.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)062301-1/4
    Number of pages4
    JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


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