Living matter is highly dynamic and organizes in complex patterns and spatial structures. Fundamental questions of biology are to understand how spatial patterns and morphologies emerge at the scale of cells and at larger scales in multicellular systems. Living systems are driven far from thermodynamic equilibrium by a constant flux of energy via metabolic processes. This activity is at the core of the extraordinary dynamics and the ability of cells and tissues to organize in space and time. At the cell scale, the breaking of symmetries is a key element that underlies the spatial organization of cellular processes. Examples for cell symmetry breaking are cell polarity and cell chirality, which play an important role during the formation of complex organisms. Cell symmetry breaking is often mediated by active dynamical processes. I will discuss fluid flows generated by active processes that provide a key mechanism for cellular symmetry breaking. Such symmetry breaking plays a role in the establishment of the main body axes as well as the left-right asymmetry of developing organisms. Going to larger scales, I will discuss the collective organization of many cells during morphogenesis. Morphogenesis often involves the dynamic remodeling of tissues by active cellular processes that involve cell rearrangements, cell divisions and cell flows. These examples show that cells and tissues are a form of active matter that exhibits original and unconventional dynamics and material properties that play an important role in biological morphogenesis.
This lecture series is part of ICTP - ICTS Winter School on Quantitative Systems Biology
Lecture 1: 9 December 2019, 4:00 PM
Lecture 2: 10 December 2019, 4:00 PM
Lecture 3: 11 December 2019, 4:00 PM
Lecture 4: 12 December 2019, 4:00 PM
Venue: Ramanujan Lecture Hall, ICTS-TIFR, Bengaluru