Vito Conte | Group Leader
Giulia Fornabaio | PhD Student
Adrià Villacrosa Ribas | 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.
Controlling the biological and mechanical behaviour of cells at the molecular level is a central axiom of bioengineering in its pursuit of tissue and organ regeneration. However, steering living-cell aggregates towards predesigned tissue architectures requires the concertation of factors such as the signalling, shape, force, adhesion and motility of single cells at length- and time-scales still largely unknown. Moreover, increasing evidence points out that the emergence of collective behaviour in cellular assemblies such as tissues is governed by mesoscale physical principles that may also instruct cell biological function in an independent manner. Yet these principles at the tissue scale cannot be predicted from biochemical principles at the single-cell scale. Our research aims at understanding the role of cell mechanics in tissue (mal)formation by harnessing the mesoscale mechanical strategies that cellular collectives adopt to determine tissue form and function in physiological and pathological conditions in vivo and in vitro. By so doing, we wish to provide bioengineers with a modern swatch of fundamental principles that can be utilised to master synthetic morphogenesis and tissue design for regenerative and therapeutic purposes.
|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
- Nikon Ti2 Epifluorescent microscope optimized for long-live imaging in Traction Force Microscopy and Microfluidics modes
- José Muñoz
Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC)
- François Schweisguth
Pasteur Institute, France
- Wayne Brodland
- Buzz Baum, UK
UCL, London and MRC LMB Cambridge
- Carlijn Bouten, the Netherlands
- Jaap den Toonder, the Netherlands
- Kees Storm, the Netherlands
- Cecilia Sahlgren, Finland
- Dr Funny Jaulin
Institut/Hospital Gustave Roussy – Paris, France
Researchers from IBEC, the UCL (UK), UPC (Spain) and the TU/e (Netherlands) show that activation of the RAS oncogene (a mutation occurring in approximately 30% of human cancers), induces tumour features in an epithelium via coordinated physical changes of all cells forming the affected tissue. Published in the scientific journal Science Advances, the new work suggests that future cancer treatments should target both the biological processes underlying the disease and the evolving mechanical structure of the affected tissue.
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.