Thermodynamic models for the homeostasis and development of the epidermis and spherical organoids
Epithelial tissues formed of layered cell surfaces are prevalent in multiple tissues and play an essential role in key biological processes such as development, organ homeostasis and cancer. In this work we study the mechanical aspects of layered multi-cell systems using pseudo-thermodynamic models. First, by use of stochastic simulations we were able to characterize the proliferation properties of a new type of stem cell in the mouse interfollicular epidermis. Further, we used both deterministic and stochastic computer simulations to investigate the interplay and between the biological and mechanical properties of concentric, multilayered spherical cell systems. We found that localized active contractility in the outer cell layers is critical in maintaining system homeostasis, and further controls dynamic properties such as the system growth rate and fluctuations about the steady-state. Our findings go towards gaining a mechanistic understanding of multilayered epithelial systems and suggest strategies by which they may be modulated.