The sensitivity of cells to alterations in the microenvironment and in particular to external mechanical stimuli is significant in many biological and physiological circumstances. In this regard, experimental assays demonstrated that, when a monolayer of cells cultured on an elastic substrate is subject to an external cyclic stretch with a sufficiently high frequency, a reorganization of actin stress fibres and focal adhesions happens in order to reach a stable equilibrium orientation, characterized by a precise angle between the cell major axis and the largest strain direction. To examine the frequency effect on the orientation dynamics, we propose a linear viscoelastic model that describes the coupled evolution of the cellular stress and the orientation angle. We find that cell orientation oscillates tending to an angle that is predicted by the minimization of a very general orthotropic elastic energy, as confirmed by a bifurcation analysis. Moreover, simulations show that the speed of convergence towards the predicted equilibrium orientation presents a changeover related to the viscous–elastic transition for viscoelastic materials. In particular, when the imposed oscillation period is lower than the characteristic turnover rate of the cytoskeleton and of adhesion molecules such as integrins, reorientation is significantly faster.

Cell orientation under stretch: Stability of a linear viscoelastic model / Lucci, G.; Giverso, C.; Preziosi, L.. - In: MATHEMATICAL BIOSCIENCES. - ISSN 0025-5564. - 337:(2021), p. 108630. [10.1016/j.mbs.2021.108630]

Cell orientation under stretch: Stability of a linear viscoelastic model

Lucci G.;Giverso C.;Preziosi L.
2021

Abstract

The sensitivity of cells to alterations in the microenvironment and in particular to external mechanical stimuli is significant in many biological and physiological circumstances. In this regard, experimental assays demonstrated that, when a monolayer of cells cultured on an elastic substrate is subject to an external cyclic stretch with a sufficiently high frequency, a reorganization of actin stress fibres and focal adhesions happens in order to reach a stable equilibrium orientation, characterized by a precise angle between the cell major axis and the largest strain direction. To examine the frequency effect on the orientation dynamics, we propose a linear viscoelastic model that describes the coupled evolution of the cellular stress and the orientation angle. We find that cell orientation oscillates tending to an angle that is predicted by the minimization of a very general orthotropic elastic energy, as confirmed by a bifurcation analysis. Moreover, simulations show that the speed of convergence towards the predicted equilibrium orientation presents a changeover related to the viscous–elastic transition for viscoelastic materials. In particular, when the imposed oscillation period is lower than the characteristic turnover rate of the cytoskeleton and of adhesion molecules such as integrins, reorientation is significantly faster.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11583/2917834