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Active Forces and Flow for Cellular Polarization

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Active material flow of the contractile actomyosin cortex is important for many cell biological processes. Here I report on the physical mechanisms that underlie coordinated and large-scale flow of the cellular cortex in Caenorhabditis elegans embryos, which we have investigated in a combined experimental and theoretical approach. I also discuss how cortical flow switches a set of PAR proteins to obtain a non-homogeneous distribution, which polarizes the cell. Our results reveal how cellular mechanics and biochemistry interact to establish cellular polarity.

This talk is part of the Physics of Medicine (PoM) Seminar Series series.

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