Vito Conte | Group Leader
Giulia Fornabaio | PhD Student
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 in vivo and in vitro (synthetic 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.
|CancerMechReg Regulacion biomecanica de la progresion del cancer (2016-2019)||MINECO, Proyectos I+D Excelencia||Vito Conte|
Uroz, Marina, Garcia-Puig, Anna, Tekeli, Isil, Elosegui-Artola, Alberto, Abenza, Juan F., Marín-Llauradó, Ariadna, Pujals, Silvia, Conte, Vito, Albertazzi, Lorenzo, Roca-Cusachs, Pere, Raya, Ángel, Trepat, Xavier, (2019). Traction forces at the cytokinetic ring regulate cell division and polyploidy in the migrating zebrafish epicardium Nature Materials 18, 1015-1023
Uroz, Marina, Wistorf, Sabrina, Serra-Picamal, Xavier, Conte, Vito, Sales-Pardo, Marta, Roca-Cusachs, Pere, Guimerà, Roger, Trepat, Xavier, (2018). Regulation of cell cycle progression by cell–cell and cell–matrix forces Nature Cell Biology 20, (6), 646-654
Munoz, J.J., Amat, D., Conte, V., (2018). Computation of forces from deformed visco-elastic biological tissues Inverse Problems 34, (4), 044001
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
Researchers at IBEC have discovered that cell division in epithelial tissues is regulated by mechanical forces.
This revelation could potentially open avenues to a greater understanding of the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in tumors, and their possible regulation by means of physical forces.
Publishing in the June edition of Nature Cell Biology, the research group of ICREA professor Xavier Trepat, group leader at IBEC and associate professor at the University of Barcelona (UB), describe how the mechanical state of epithelial tissues – the continuous sheets of cells that cover all the exposed surfaces of the body – is related to the cell cycle and cell division.