Celeste M. Nelson, Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Princeton University, will present at talk: “Tissue Architecture, Mechanics and Cellular Plasticity”.
Abstract: The morphogenetic patterning that generates three-dimensional (3D) tissues requires dynamic concerted rearrangements of individual cells with respect to each other. We have developed lithography-based 3D culture models that recapitulate the architecture of epithelial ductal trees, enable micrometer-resolution control of tissue geometry and microenvironment, and provide quantitative 4D data in a physiologically relevant context. This approach has revealed that patterns within developing tissues can emerge from at least three orthogonal mechanisms: biochemical gradients, tissue mechanics, and differential cell motility. I will discuss how we combine engineered tissues and computational models to uncover and dissect the relative roles of each of these mechanisms, specifically as related to branching morphogenesis and tumorigenic progression of mammary epithelial cells.