Vito Conte | Junior Group Leader
Agata Nyga | Postdoctoral Researcher
Giulia Fornabaio | Research Assistant
In the group we advance cross-disciplinary research at the interface between biology, physics and engineering by studying the mechanical biology and the biological mechanics of pathological development and disease progression. Specifically, we focus on soft tissue morphogenesis – the process by which a tissue takes or lose shape.
Deciphering the physical mechanisms of tissue morphogenesis is a powerful expedient to identify new mechanical hallmarks of cancer progression and define principles of tissue design for organ regeneration. This is so because both healthy and pathological tissues take or lose their shape through processes such as folding, segregation, growth, remodelling and invasion. These are biological processes involving mechanical events that require cells to deform, bear or develop forces as well as to fine-tune their material properties. Deciphering these processes in normal and pathological conditions provides experimental data that can be directly translated into therapeutics targeting diseased cells and tissues at the physical level.
To that end, we are developing new multidisciplinary methods to quantify cell and tissue mechanics in arbitrary 2D and 3D environments that have physiologically-relevant properties. These methods hybridise physical, computational and biological approaches to extract mechanical information from large amounts of experimental data in vitro, in vivo and ex vivo. This data is utilised to identify what mechanical quantities can determine and/or predict cells and tissues dynamics in normal and pathological conditions such as those of carcinogenesis and tumour progression.
Three IBEC group leaders – Pere Roca-Cusachs, Vito Conte and Xavier Trepat – consolidate the institute’s leadership in mechanobiology by publishing a review of the field in Nature Cell Biology.
Vito Conte may be familiar to many, having spent more than four years in Xavier Trepat’s Integrative Cell and Tissue Dynamics group, first as a postdoc and later as a Juan de la Cierva fellow. Vito now is a Ramon y Cajal fellow and leads the Mechanics of Development and Disease group, which will take a new direction as he develops new biophysical tools to quantify the mechanics of cell and tissues in 3D environments.
|CancerMechReg Regulacion biomecanica de la progresion del cancer (2016-2019)||MINECO, Proyectos I+D Excelencia||Vito Conte|
Munoz, J.J., Amat, D., Conte, V., (2018). Computation of forces from deformed visco-elastic biological tissues Inverse Problems
Rodriguez-Franco, P., Brugués, A., Marin-Llaurado, A., Conte, V., Solanas, G., Batlle, E., Fredberg, J. J., Roca-Cusachs, P., Sunyer, R., Trepat, X., (2017). Long-lived force patterns and deformation waves at repulsive epithelial boundaries Nature Materials 16, (10), 1029-1036
Roca-Cusachs, Pere, Conte, Vito, Trepat, Xavier, (2017). Quantifying forces in cell biology Nature Cell Biology 19, (7), 742-751
Perez-Mockus, Gantas, Mazouni, Khalil, Roca, Vanessa, Corradi, Giulia, Conte, Vito, Schweisguth, François, (2017). Spatial regulation of contractility by Neuralized and Bearded during furrow invagination in Drosophila Nature Communications 8, (1), 1594
Sunyer, R., Conte, V., Escribano, J., Elosegui-Artola, A., Labernadie, A., Valon, L., Navajas, D., García-Aznar, J. M., Muñoz, J. J., Roca-Cusachs, P., Trepat, X., (2016). Collective cell durotaxis emerges from long-range intercellular force transmission Science 353, (6304), 1157-1161
- Mechanical quantification in vitro and in vivo
- Experimental physical modelling in silico
- José Muñoz
Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC)
- François Schweisguth
Pasteur Institute, France
- Wayne Brodland