Fascinating work in Nature Communications from Ladoux and coworkers showing that cells respond to certain configurations more readily than others during epithelialization.
This, we believe, marries well with similar applied work done by our unit with Matt Cardinal and Dave Eisenbud back in 2008.
Imagine marrying this with machine learning algorithms in an app-based system from some of our more clever colleagues working in artificial intelligence!
Closure of wounds and gaps in tissues is fundamental for the correct development and physiology of multicellular organisms and, when misregulated, may lead to inflammation and tumorigenesis. To re-establish tissue integrity, epithelial cells exhibit coordinated motion into the void by active crawling on the substrate and by constricting a supracellular actomyosin cable. Coexistence of these two mechanisms strongly depends on the environment. However, the nature of their coupling remains elusive because of the complexity of the overall process. Here we demonstrate that epithelial gap geometry in both in vitro and in vivo regulates these collective mechanisms. In addition, the mechanical coupling between actomyosin cable contraction and cell crawling acts as a large-scale regulator to control the dynamics of gap closure. Finally, our computational modelling clarifies the respective roles of the two mechanisms during this process, providing a robust and universal mechanism to explain how epithelial tissues restore their integrity.