Master's Defense by Sigurd Carlsen – University of Copenhagen

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Master's Defense by Sigurd Carlsen

Title: The role of planar cell polarity in branching morphogensis


For many glands and other organs the formation of a tree-like ductal network is vital for their function. In order to obtain this network the organ must undergo branching and ductal formation. Therefore the study of the controlling mechanisms in branching and morphogenesis and tubulogenesis (formation of ducts) is of interest. In biology two types of cells polarisations exist: Apical basal polarity is the breaking of symmestry between
the apical and basal sides of the epithelium. Planar cell polarity of "PCP" is a second breaking of symmestry, where cells get an orientation in the plane of epithelium. In this thesis we investigate a so far overlooked link between PCP and branching morphogenesis and tubulogenesis. We create 2D and 3D simulations to simulate the effect that planar cell polarity could have on ductal network morphogensis through local differentiated adhesion preoperties. Through simplistic models we found that with few assumptions about how PCP affects cell adhesion, e can show that even though other controlling mechanisms exist as well, PCP alone can conrol tube-Width and branching of a ductal network.

Supervisor: Ala Trusina, NBI
Opponent: Thomas Sams, Biomedical Engineering, DTU