Coordinated Motion of Epithelial Layers on Curved Surfaces

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


Coordinated cellular movements are key processes in tissue morphogenesis. Using a cell-based modeling approach we study the dynamics of epithelial layers lining surfaces with constant and varying curvature. We demonstrate that extrinsic curvature effects can explain the alignment of cell elongation with the principal directions of curvature. Together with specific self-propulsion mechanisms and cell-cell interactions this effect gets enhanced and can explain observed large-scale, persistent, and circumferential rotation on cylindrical surfaces. On toroidal surfaces the resulting curvature coupling is an interplay of intrinsic and extrinsic curvature effects. These findings unveil the role of curvature and postulate its importance for tissue morphogenesis.


Original languageEnglish
Article number078401
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2024

External IDs

PubMed 38427891
ORCID /0000-0002-4525-9185/work/161892033


ASJC Scopus subject areas


  • Motion, Cell Communication, Morphogenesis