Mechanical regulation of wound healing

Dr. Yanlan Mao (primary)
Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology
University College London
Dr. Shiladitya Banerjee (secondary)
Physics & Astronomy
University College London


How an organism responds to tissue loss after wounding is of considerable clinical interest. Slow or defective wound closure increases the risks of infection and can lead to ulceration, while over-healing can lead to scarring and even tumours. The aim of this project is to quantitatively understand how cytoskeletal machineries organize in space and time to regulate tissue repair. This will be achieved by developing an in silico model of the actin cytoskeleton, integrating molecular biochemistry, structure and mechanics. The model will be used to interpret and direct mechanical experiments on the Drosophila wing disc, combining genetics, live imaging and automated image analysis. Together, these approaches will determine how actomyosin structures dynamically reorganize to control tissue-scale mechanics during wound healing.


1. Recapitulation of morphogenetic cell shape changes enables wound re-epithelialisation. W Razzell, W Wood, P Martin. Development. 2014 vol. 141 (9) pp. 1814-1820.
2. Disordered actomyosin networks are sufficient to produce cooperative and telescopic contractility. Linsmeier, I., Banerjee, S., Oakes, P.W., Jung, W., Kim, T., & Murrell, M.P. (2016) Nature Communications 7, 12615.
3. A versatile framework for simulating the dynamic mechanical structure of cytoskeletal networks. Freedman, S., Banerjee, S., Hocky, G.M., & Dinner, A.R. Biophys J. 2017 Jul 25;113(2):448-460.
4. Tissue fluidity promotes epithelial wound healing. R. Tetley, M. Staddon, S. Banerjee, Y. Mao. BioRXiv 433557 (2018)
5. Polarization of Myosin II refines tissue material properties to buffer mechanical stress. Duda, M. … Mao Y (2019). Dev. Cell 2019.

Genes, development and STEM* approaches to biology
Area of Biology
Cell BiologyDevelopment
Techniques & Approaches
BiophysicsEngineeringGeneticsImage ProcessingMathematics / StatisticsMicroscopy / ElectrophysiologySimulation / Modelling