L’équipe Ladoux/Mège a contribué à la publication d’un article dans Nature Communications :
Changes in tissue geometry during developmental processes are associated with collective migration of cells. Recent experimental and numerical results suggest that these changes could leverage on the coexistence of nematic and hexatic orientational order at different length scales. How this multiscale organization is affected by the material properties of the cells and their substrate is presently unknown. In this study, we address these questions in monolayers of Madin-Darby canine kidney cells having various cell densities and molecular repertoires. At small length scales, confluent monolayers are characterized by a prominent hexatic order, independent of the presence of E-cadherin, monolayer density, and underlying substrate stiffness. However, all three properties affect the meso-scale tissue organization. The length scale at which hexatic order transits to nematic order, the “hexanematic” crossover scale, strongly depends on cell-cell adhesions and correlates with monolayer density. Our study demonstrates how epithelial organization is affected by mechanical properties, and provides a robust description of tissue organization during developmental processes.