Multiscale Biomechanics of Multicellular Tissue Morphogenesis (Prof.Taiji Adachi)

November 29, 2018 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
E-JUST – HQ, Room 109

Multiscale Biomechanics of Multicellular Tissue Morphogenesis

Taiji Adachi

Kyoto University


In multicellular tissue morphogenesis, mechanofeedback from molecular level to tissue level play important roles to determine their functional shape and structure. In this presentation, by illustrating examples of multicellular tissue morphogenesis, we will discuss how locally generated mechanical forces and their feedback result in the macroscopic regulation of tissue/organ morphology, and how such multiscale approach based on modeling and simulation allows us to explore the roles of mechanical force feedback in determining the tissue/organ-level functional shapes.

Tissue folding in morphogenesis is controlled by local internal mechanical forces such as tensile (contractile) forces generated in actin-myosin networks and compressive (pushing) forces due to tissue volumetric increase by cell division and proliferation. Mechanical forces at the adherens junctions, mechanosensitive machinery among cells, are sensed at the microscopic molecular level by mechanosensory protein alpha-catenin, and integrated to determine the macroscopic tissue morphology through multiscale interactions. To better understand such complex multiscale phenomena, mathematical modeling and computer simulation based on mechanics will give us a powerful framework for conducting in-silico experiments by combining with in-vitro experiments. In the presentation, as in-silico studies, we will introduce discrete and continuum modeling of multicellular tissue dynamics, and demonstrate how the microscopic mechanofeedback regulates in the macroscopic tissue morphogenesis. In addition, as in-vitro studies, we will present recent experimental data showing the adaptive behaviors of alpha-catenin under tension revealed by single-molecule experiment using AFM system.


Taiji Adachi PhD is Professor at the Department of Biosystems Science, Institute for Frontier Life and Medical Sciences, Kyoto University. He received his BS (1990) in Mechanical Engineering at Kobe University, MS (1992) and PhD (1997) at Osaka University. He joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering as a Research Associate (1992) at Kobe University, worked as a Research Fellow at the Orthopaedic Research Laboratory at the University of Michigan (1997-99). He joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering as an Associate Professor (2004) at Kyoto University, and was promoted to Professor (2010-) at the Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences. He is working in the fields of cell and molecular biomechanics and mechanobiology, and has been a World Council Member of Biomechanics since 2011.