Tommy Angelini studies tissue cell assemblies with NSF CAREER award

Research leverages the basic physics of instability, topology and symmetry to study tissue cell dynamics. Cell assemblies are 3D printed by the direct extrusion of structures into volumes of yield stress material. The combination of cells and yield-stress materials provides unprecedented control of variables like size, shape, symmetry, and topology in multicellular structures. The primary research activities are investigations of: (1) mechanical instabilities in simple structures to classify and measure collective cell forces, (2) the role of symmetry and topology of complex multicellular structures in collective cell dynamics. The image shows cell-to-cell transfer of fluorescence-dyed fluid through gap junctions in a monolayer of cells.