Presentation by Liam Ruske at Current and Future Themes in Soft & Biological Active Matter, 5 August 2022

The rate at which cells divide or die varies across 3D cell aggregates because cells are competing for resources in the environment. (Image by L. Ruske.)
Modelling the Dynamics of 3D cell aggregates
Liam J. Ruske, Julia Yeomans
Date: 5 August 2022
Time: 11:00 (CEST)
Place: Current and Future Themes in Soft and Biological Matter, Nordita


Multicellular spheroids are self-assembled balls of cells, typically hunderds of microns in diameter. They are important model systems for high throughput screening of the effects of mechanical or oxidative stress on tumors and for testing the efficacy of anti-cancer drugs. Gradients in metabolite concentration and the cell division rate across spheroids lead to gradients in activity, the rate at which the cells use energy to generate forces. This results in cell ordering and flows that can be described using the theories of active nematics. By comparing cell alignment profiles in experiments to model predictions, we can extract dynamical tissue parameters which are difficult to measure directly, thus establishing a link between 3D active fluids and the tissue-scale organization in biological systems.