Soft yet Sharp Interfaces in a Vertex Model of Confluent Tissue

Daniel M. Sussman, J. M. Schwarz, M. Cristina Marchetti, M. Lisa Manning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


How can dense biological tissue maintain sharp boundaries between coexisting cell populations? We explore this question within a simple vertex model for cells, focusing on the role of topology and tissue surface tension. We show that the ability of cells to independently regulate adhesivity and tension, together with neighbor-based interaction rules, lets them support strikingly unusual interfaces. In particular, we show that mechanical- and fluctuation-based measurements of the effective surface tension of a cellular aggregate yield different results, leading to mechanically soft interfaces that are nevertheless extremely sharp.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number058001
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 29 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


Dive into the research topics of 'Soft yet Sharp Interfaces in a Vertex Model of Confluent Tissue'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this