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MolCellTissMech SIGNED

Molecular and cellular determinants of cell monolayer mechanics

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "MolCellTissMech" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: LONDON
postcode: WC1E 6BT
website: n.a.

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Total cost 2˙000˙000 €
 EC max contribution 2˙000˙000 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2014-CoG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-09-01   to  2020-08-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON UK (LONDON) coordinator 2˙000˙000.00


 Project objective

Epithelial monolayers are amongst the simplest tissues in the body, yet they play fundamental roles in adult organisms where they separate the internal environment from the external environment and in development when the intrinsic forces generated by cells within the monolayer drive tissue morphogenesis. The mechanics of these simple tissues is dictated by the cytoskeletal and adhesive proteins that interface the constituent cells into a tissue-scale mechanical syncitium. Mutations in these proteins lead to diseases with fragilised epithelia. However, a quantitative understanding of how subcellular structures govern monolayer mechanics, how cells sense their mechanical environment and what mechanical forces participate in tissue morphogenesis is lacking.

To overcome these challenges, my lab devised a new technique to study the mechanics of load-bearing monolayers under well-controlled mechanical conditions while allowing imaging at subcellular, cellular and tissue resolutions. Using this instrument, my proposal aims to understand the molecular determinants of monolayer mechanics as well as the cellular behaviours that drive tissue morphogenesis. I will focus on four objectives: 1) discover the molecular determinants of monolayer mechanics, 2) characterise monolayer mechanics, 3) dissect how tension is sensed by monolayers, and 4) investigate the biophysics of individual cell behaviours participating in tissue morphogenesis.

Together these studies will enable us to understand how monolayer mechanics is affected by changes in single cell behaviour, subcellular organisation, and molecular turnover. This multi-scale characterisation of monolayer mechanics will set the stage for new theoretical descriptions of living tissues involving both molecular-scale phenomena (cytoskeletal turnover, contractility, and protein unfolding) operating on short time-scales and rearrangements due to cell-scale phenomena (cell intercalation, cell division) acting on longer times.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2020 A. Bonfanti, J. Fouchard, N. Khalilgharibi, G. Charras, A. Kabla
A unified rheological model for cells and cellularised materials
published pages: 190920, ISSN: 2054-5703, DOI: 10.1098/rsos.190920
Royal Society Open Science 7/1 2020-03-13
2019 Nargess Khalilgharibi, Jonathan Fouchard, Nina Asadipour, Ricardo Barrientos, Maria Duda, Alessandra Bonfanti, Amina Yonis, Andrew Harris, Payman Mosaffa, Yasuyuki Fujita, Alexandre Kabla, Yanlan Mao, Buzz Baum, José J Muñoz, Mark Miodownik, Guillaume Charras
Stress relaxation in epithelial monolayers is controlled by the actomyosin cortex
published pages: 839-847, ISSN: 1745-2473, DOI: 10.1038/s41567-019-0516-6
Nature Physics 15/8 2020-03-13
2020 Jonathan Fouchard, Tom Wyatt, Amsha Proag, Ana Lisica, Nargess Khalilgharibi, Pierre Recho, Magali Suzanne, Alexandre Kabla, Guillaume Charras
Curling of epithelial monolayers reveals coupling between active bending and tissue tension
published pages: In Press, ISSN: 0027-8424, DOI:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 2020-03-13
2020 Luyan Cao, Amina Yonis, Malti Vaghela, Elias H Barriga, Priyamvada Chugh, Matthew B Smith, Julien Maufront, Geneviève Lavoie, Antoine Méant, Emma Ferber, Miia Bovellan, Art Alberts, Aurélie Bertin, Roberto Mayor, Ewa K. Paluch, Philippe P. Roux, Antoine Jégou, Guillaume Romet-Lemonne, Guillaume Charras
SPIN90 associates with mDia1 and the Arp2/3 complex to regulate cortical actin organisation
published pages: In Press, ISSN: 1465-7392, DOI:
Nature Cell Biology 2020-03-13
2019 Maria Duda, Natalie J. Kirkland, Nargess Khalilgharibi, Melda Tozluoglu, Alice C. Yuen, Nicolas Carpi, Anna Bove, Matthieu Piel, Guillaume Charras, Buzz Baum, Yanlan Mao
Polarization of Myosin II Refines Tissue Material Properties to Buffer Mechanical Stress
published pages: 245-260.e7, ISSN: 1534-5807, DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2018.12.020
Developmental Cell 48/2 2020-03-13
2020 Tom P. J. Wyatt, Jonathan Fouchard, Ana Lisica, Nargess Khalilgharibi, Buzz Baum, Pierre Recho, Alexandre J. Kabla, Guillaume T. Charras
Actomyosin controls planarity and folding of epithelia in response to compression
published pages: 109-117, ISSN: 1476-1122, DOI: 10.1038/s41563-019-0461-x
Nature Materials 19/1 2020-03-13
2016 Nargess Khalilgharibi, Jonathan Fouchard, Pierre Recho, Guillaume Charras, Alexandre Kabla
The dynamic mechanical properties of cellularised aggregates
published pages: 113-120, ISSN: 0955-0674, DOI: 10.1016/
Current Opinion in Cell Biology 42 2019-05-31
2016 Wyatt T., Charras G., Baum B.
A question of time: tissue adaptation to mechanical forces
published pages: , ISSN: 0955-0674, DOI: 10.1016/
Current Opinion in Cell Biology 2019-05-31
2017 Léo Valon, Ariadna Marín-Llauradó, Thomas Wyatt, Guillaume Charras, Xavier Trepat
Optogenetic control of cellular forces and mechanotransduction
published pages: 14396, ISSN: 2041-1723, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms14396
Nature Communications 8 2019-05-31
2018 Elias H. Barriga, Kristian Franze, Guillaume Charras, Roberto Mayor
Tissue stiffening coordinates morphogenesis by triggering collective cell migration in vivo
published pages: 523-527, ISSN: 0028-0836, DOI: 10.1038/nature25742
Nature 554/7693 2019-05-31

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