The interest in cell aggregates is nowadays undergoing a strong acceleration because of the
coincidence of technical advancements and experimental insights that excite
theoretical challenges. In this respect, systems of great relevance are multicellular spheroids,
where it is now possible to locally measure stress and fluid flow within the aggregate, thereby
opening the path to quantitative theories to explain the role of mechanics in cell proliferation
and motility. There is a well supported evidence that mechanical forces interfere with the
development of solid tumors and arrest their proliferation. The coupling between cell
mechanics, fluid flows, extra-cellular matrix and cell proliferation is however not trivial:
malignant cells exhibit a complex rheology that accompanies an elusive mechanobiological
feedback. Intriguingly, the role of fluid flows and stress is understood to be
crucial in other cell aggregates, of completely different functionality: embryos exploit
mechanics to generate shape and function, both in producing displacement such as lumen
formation and in signaling cell-to-cell mutual positions and orientations.
This workshop will gather biophysicists and theoreticians
who are actively contributing in in understanding the mechanobiology of cell aggregates.
A non-exhaustive list of topics includes tumor spheroids, embryos,
single cell mechanics, monolayers and collective cell migration.