EPJ E - Giraffes are living proof that cells’ pressure matters

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A model that describes dividing cells within human tissues from the perspective of physicists could help further the understanding of cancer growth.

Physicists from the Curie Institute, France, explored the relative impact of the mechanical pressure induced by dividing cells in biological tissues. This approach complements traditional studies on genetic and biochemical signalling mechanisms to explain experimental observations of how biological tissues evolve. This work, recently published in EPJE, could have significant implications for the understanding of cancer growth.

Jonas Ranft and team created a two-component mathematical model accounting for both the cells and the fluid caught in between. On the one hand, cells are modelled as behaving like a dividing fluid subject to expansion. On the other hand, the interstitial fluid is akin to an ideal fluid that cannot be compressed. This model is designed to elucidate the nature of mechanical pressure exerted upon dividing cells by their surrounding tissues, referred to as homeostatic pressure.

It replaces a previous single-component model they developed last year. Its assumption: the homeostatic pressure is proportional to the fluid pressure within the tissue. If that were the case, very tall organisms such as giraffes could not exist, because the cells in their lower body would die under pressure.

Thanks to the two-component model, the authors found that it is the cells’ pressure and not the interstitial fluid’s pressure that influences the level of cell division. When there are as many new cells created from cell division as cells dying from programmed cell death, or apoptosis, the homeostatic pressure is balanced. This leads to a steady state of the biological tissue. Going one step further, the authors pinpointed the range of fluid pressure required to drive cell flow within the body.

Such models could help gain a greater understanding of the importance of the disruption of homeostatic pressure in biological tissues caused by cancer cells that are characterised by abnormal levels of cell proliferation.

Tissue dynamics with permeation. J. Ranft et al., Eur. Phys. J. E (2012) 35: 46, DOI 10.1140/epje/i2012-12046-5

This was our first experience of publishing with EPJ Web of Conferences. We contacted the publisher in the middle of September, just one month prior to the Conference, but everything went through smoothly. We have had published MNPS Proceedings with different publishers in the past, and would like to tell that the EPJ Web of Conferences team was probably the best, very quick, helpful and interactive. Typically, we were getting responses from EPJ Web of Conferences team within less than an hour and have had help at every production stage.
We are very thankful to Solange Guenot, Web of Conferences Publishing Editor, and Isabelle Houlbert, Web of Conferences Production Editor, for their support. These ladies are top-level professionals, who made a great contribution to the success of this issue. We are fully satisfied with the publication of the Conference Proceedings and are looking forward to further cooperation. The publication was very fast, easy and of high quality. My colleagues and I strongly recommend EPJ Web of Conferences to anyone, who is interested in quick high-quality publication of conference proceedings.

On behalf of the Organizing and Program Committees and Editorial Team of MNPS-2019, Dr. Alexey B. Nadykto, Moscow State Technological University “STANKIN”, Moscow, Russia. EPJ Web of Conferences vol. 224 (2019)

ISSN: 2100-014X (Electronic Edition)

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