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Chiral Morphogenesis - Physical Mechanisms of Actomyosin-Based Left/Right Symmetry Breaking in Biological Systems

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 CHIMO project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the CHIMO project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "CHIMO" about.

asymmetry    layer    vertebrates    interdisciplinary    active    generalized    tissue    biological    asymmetries    class    interface    description    stages    embryo    emergence    chiral    tweezers    characterization    materials    chirality    actomyosin    linked    formin    movements    grant    actin    dynamically    multicellular    arises    polymerizing    arise    physics    tissues    theory    right    environment    nematode    hydrodynamic    cell    balance    molecules    motors    fundamentally    elegans    organismal    morphogenesis    cells    systematic    optical    unravel    surface    biology    myosin    understand    torque    model    mechanisms    protein    morphogenetic    insights    torques    events    thin    molecular    mechanically    dynamics    force    vitro    filaments    body    constituents    perform    single    left    generation    vivo    cortex    drives    axis    instances    flows    cross    physical    coarse    cellular    caenorhabditis    organisms    grained    reconstitute    mesoscale    basis    pursue    flow   

Project "CHIMO" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: 1069

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 Germany [DE]
 Total cost 2˙500˙000 €
 EC max contribution 2˙500˙000 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-ADG
 Funding Scheme ERC-ADG
 Starting year 2018
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2018-01-01   to  2022-12-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

The aim of this grant is to understand how cellular, tissue-scale and organismal left-right asymmetry arises from the chirality of molecular constituents. In many instances the actomyosin cortex, a thin and mechanically active layer of dynamically cross-linked filaments and molecular motors at the surface of cells, drives the emergence of chiral morphogenetic events. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, mesoscale chiral active torques generated by this active layer establish the embryo’s left-right body axis. Here we want to understand how mesoscale actomyosin active torques are generated at the molecular level, and how active torque generation in the actomyosin surface drives chiral morphogenesis of cells, tissues and organisms. Cells and tissues represent a new class of active chiral materials where both the force and the torque balance need to be considered, and we will perform a systematic and cross-scale characterization of active chiral biological matter. We will pursue an interdisciplinary approach at the interface of physics and biology. At the molecular-scale, we will use optical tweezers to measure active torques generated by single molecules of the molecular myosin and the actin polymerizing protein formin. At the cell-scale, we will reconstitute chiral actomyosin flows in vitro and characterize chiral dynamics of single molecules in vivo. At the tissue-scale, we will investigate chiral cell movements in a multicellular environment and unravel the physical basis of chiral tissue flow in vertebrates. Theory is essential at all stages, and we will build a molecular-scale model of actomyosin torque generation that will be coarse-grained to a generalized hydrodynamic description of active chiral matter. This interdisciplinary and cross-scale approach will provide fundamentally new insights into active chiral materials and the mechanisms by which left-right asymmetries arise in development.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Sundar Ram Naganathan, Sebastian Fürthauer, Josana Rodriguez, Bruno Thomas Fievet, Frank Jülicher, Julie Ahringer, Carlo Vittorio Cannistraci, Stephan W Grill
Morphogenetic degeneracies in the actomyosin cortex
published pages: , ISSN: 2050-084X, DOI: 10.7554/elife.37677
eLife 7 2019-08-29

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