In development and homeostasis, multi-cellular systems exhibit spatial and temporal heterogeneity in their biochemical and mechanical properties. Nevertheless, it remains unclear how spatiotemporally heterogeneous forces affect the dynamical and mechanical properties of confluent tissue. To address this question, we study the dynamical behavior of the two-dimensional cellular vertex model for epithelial monolayers in the presence of fluctuating cell-cell interfacial tensions, which is a biologically relevant source of mechanical spatiotemporal heterogeneity. In particular, we investigate the effects of the amplitude and persistence time of fluctuating tension on the tissue dynamics. We unexpectedly find that the long-time diffusion constant describing cell rearrangements depends non-monotonically on the persistence time, while it increases monotonically as the amplitude increases. Our analysis indicates that at low and intermediate persistence times tension fluctuations drive motion of vertices and promote cell rearrangements, while at the highest persistence times the tension in the network evolves so slowly that rearrangements become rare.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics