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Constitutive model for the rheology of biological tissue

Fielding, Suzanne M.; Cochran, James O.; Huang, Junxiang; Bi, Dapeng; Marchetti, M. Cristina

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James Cochran
PGR Student Doctor of Philosophy

Junxiang Huang

Dapeng Bi

M. Cristina Marchetti


The rheology of biological tissue is key to processes such as embryo development, wound healing, and cancer metastasis. Vertex models of confluent tissue monolayers have uncovered a spontaneous liquid-solid transition tuned by cell shape; and a shear-induced solidification transition of an initially liquidlike tissue. Alongside this jamming/unjamming behavior, biological tissue also displays an inherent viscoelasticity, with a slow time and rate-dependent mechanics. With this motivation, we combine simulations and continuum theory to examine the rheology of the vertex model in nonlinear shear across a full range of shear rates from quastistatic to fast, elucidating its nonlinear stress-strain curves after the inception of shear of finite rate, and its steady state flow curves of stress as a function of strain rate. We formulate a rheological constitutive model that couples cell shape to flow and captures both the tissue solid-liquid transition and its rich linear and nonlinear rheology.


Fielding, S. M., Cochran, J. O., Huang, J., Bi, D., & Marchetti, M. C. (2023). Constitutive model for the rheology of biological tissue. Physical Review E, 108(4), Article L042602.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 13, 2023
Online Publication Date Oct 9, 2023
Publication Date 2023-10
Deposit Date Oct 10, 2023
Publicly Available Date Oct 10, 2023
Journal Physical Review E
Print ISSN 2470-0045
Electronic ISSN 2470-0053
Publisher American Physical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 108
Issue 4
Article Number L042602
Keywords Wound Healing, Rheology, Motivation, Cell Shape, Embryonic Development
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