Direct in vivo measurement of mechanical forces in epithelial cell monolayers is a non-trivial experimental challenge. We ask if it may be possible to infer instantaneous stress distributions indirectly, from well resolved images of 2D cell arrays. Our approach assumes instantaneous mechanical equilibrium and models intercellular interactions via generalized "vertex model", parameterized by cortical tensions and cellular pressures. For a given segmented image of a cell array, determination of force parameters is reduced to a certain pseudo-inverse problem. The method is tested on a variety of cell arrays, including the neurogenic epithelium of the developing avian cochlea, and the time-lapsed data on the ventral furrow formation in fly embryo.
View poster as pdf.
Author entry (protected)