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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.

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

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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