3 years ago

Turbulent dynamics of epithelial cell cultures.

G. Duclos, S. Garcia, C. Blanch-Mercader, L. Giomi, V. Yashunsky, P. Silberzan

In vitro epithelial monolayers exhibit a rich repertoire of collective dynamical behaviours according to microenvironment mechanical features. We investigate the statistical and dynamical properties of human bronchial epithelial cell (HBEC) flows in bulk, by analysing their large length-scale and long time-scale spatiotemporal dynamics. Activity-driven spontaneous collective flows consist of an ensemble of vortices randomly positioned in space. By analysing a large population of vortices, we show that their area follows an exponential law with a constant mean value and their rotational frequency is size-independent, both being characteristic features of the chaotic dynamics of active nematic suspensions. Indeed, we find that HBECs self-organise in nematic domains of several cell lengths. Nematic defects are found at the interface between domains with a total number that remains constant by the dynamical balance of nucleation and annihilation events. Near +/-1/2 defects, the mean velocity field is in faithful agreement with the dynamics of extensile active nematics.

Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1711.01568

DOI: arXiv:1711.01568v1

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