Alignment interactions drive morphological transitions in biological tissues
Published on Jul 1, 2021in arXiv: Soft Condensed Matter
Experimental evidence shows that there is a feedback between cell shape and cell motion. How this feedback impacts the collective behavior of dense cell monolayers remains an open question. We investigate the effect of a feedback that tends to align the cell crawling direction with cell elongation in a biological tissue model. We find that the alignment interaction promotes nematic patterns in the fluid phase that eventually undergo a non-equilibrium phase transition into a quasi-hexagonal solid. Meanwhile, highly asymmetric cells do not undergo the liquid-to-solid transition for any value of the alignment coupling. In this regime, the dynamics of cell centers and shape fluctuation show features typical of glassy systems.