Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Although tissues are usually studied in isolation, this situation rarely occurs in biology, as cells, tissues, and organs, coexist and interact across scales to determine both shape and function. Here, we take a quantitative approach combining data from recent experiments, mathematical modelling, and Bayesian parameter inference, to describe the self-assembly of multiple epithelial sheets by growth and collision. We use two simple and well-studied continuum models, where cells move either randomly or following population pressure gradients. After suitable calibration, both models prove to be practically identifiable, and can reproduce the main features of single tissue expansions. However, our findings reveal that whenever tissue-tissue interactions become relevant, the random motion assumption can lead to unrealistic behaviour. Under this setting, a model accounting for population pressure from different cell populations is more appropriate and shows a better agreement with experimental measurements. Finally, we discuss how tissue shape and pressure affect multi-tissue collisions. Our work thus provides a systematic approach to quantify and predict complex tissue configurations with applications in the design of tissue composites and more generally in tissue engineering.


Journal article


Journal of the Royal Society Interface


Royal Society, The

Publication Date



nlin.PS, q-bio.QM, q-bio.TO, q-bio.TO