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Patterning and dynamics of membrane adhesion under hydraulic stress.

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Torres-Sánchez, Alejandro  ORCID logo
Lanfranco, Roberta 
Di Michele, Lorenzo 


Hydraulic fracturing plays a major role in cavity formation during embryonic development, when pressurized fluid opens microlumens at cell-cell contacts, which evolve to form a single large lumen. However, the fundamental physical mechanisms behind these processes remain masked by the complexity and specificity of biological systems. Here, we show that adhered lipid vesicles subjected to osmotic stress form hydraulic microlumens similar to those in cells. Combining vesicle experiments with theoretical modelling and numerical simulations, we provide a physical framework for the hydraulic reconfiguration of cell-cell adhesions. We map the conditions for microlumen formation from a pristine adhesion, the emerging dynamical patterns and their subsequent maturation. We demonstrate control of the fracturing process depending on the applied pressure gradients and the type and density of membrane bonds. Our experiments further reveal an unexpected, passive transition of microlumens to closed buds that suggests a physical route to adhesion remodeling by endocytosis.



Cell Adhesion, Physical Phenomena, Endocytosis

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Nat Commun

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Nature Portfolio
Fondation Wiener Anspach (unknown)
Royal Society (UF160152)
Royal Society (RF\ERE\210029)