MEchanics GAthering -MEGA- Seminar: Robot-assisted microsurgery to study mechanics of morphogenesis


Event details

Date 19.05.2022 16:1517:30  
Speaker Ece Ozelci (MICROBS, EPFL)
Location Online
Category Conferences - Seminars
Event Language English
Abstract Microsurgical techniques that were foundational for experimental embryology in the early 1900s are still in use today. Inspired by these classic techniques we built a user-friendly robotic microsurgery platform that allows precise mechanical manipulation of soft tissues. As a proof of principle, we investigated the contribution of different embryonic tissues to vertebrate anteroposterior axis elongation and segmentation by using zebrafish embryos. We repeatedly targeted specific regions of tail explants, and quantified the response in real-time by following morphogenesis of different tissue parts and segmentation clock dynamics. We found an extension force generated through the posterior notochord that is strong enough to buckle the structure. We propose that the unidirectional elongation of the notochord and the tail depends on the posterior region of the notochord experiencing gripping forces applied by the surrounding posterior presomitic mesoderm (PSM). Our results complement existing biomechanical models of axis elongation and reveal that tail elongation at the observed developmental stage is driven by coupled interactions between three units: the posterior notochord, the posterior PSM and the notochord progenitor domain. We also showed that somite patterning is robust against structural perturbations.

Bio Ece graduated from Bilkent University with Mechanical Engineering degree in 2016. She obtained her master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from EPFL in 2018 focusing on fluid dynamics. Then, she started her PhD in 2018 as a joint student between MICROBS with Prof. Sakar and Oates Lab in SV with Prof. Oates. Her research focuses on the usage of microrobotics to understand mechanics of the body axis development of vertebrates.

Practical information

  • General public
  • Free


  • MEGA.Seminar Organizing Committee


Solids Structures Fluids