Vanessa Barone       Gabby Krens          Jean-Léon Maître         Philipp Schmalhorst


Differential cell adhesion constitutes a key mechanism by which different cell populations sort and segregate in development. To obtain insight into the role of differential cell adhesion for germ layer progenitor cell segregation and germ layer formation, we are characterizing the adhesive properties of the different progenitor cell types, and identify the molecular and cellular mechanisms by which these different cell types acquire those properties. For measuring cell adhesion, we are using single cell force spectroscopy, dual micropipette aspiration and tissue tensiometry, and for analyzing cell sorting and segregation both in vivo and in vitro, we are using multi-photon and fast-scanning microscopy and custom-built image analysis software.

Spinning disc confocal image of 2 ectoderm progenitor cells in vitro expressing myosin regulatory light chain-mcherry (red) and N-cadherin-eGFP (green).

Cell segregation in heterotypic aggregates of ectoderm (red) and mesoderm (green) progenitor cells cultured in micro-molds. Scale bar = 100μm.