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Self-organization of adipose tissue

Wednesday 16th September 2015 - 14:15 to 15:00
INI Seminar Room 1
One of the key functions of adipose tissue is to store energy for the needs of the organism. Dysfunction of adipose tissue results in conditions like obesity which affect an increasing number of people worldwide. In 2007, it was estimated that 50% of women and 65% of men in UK were overweight or obese. Yet, very few studies of how adipose tissue organizes during its development are available. The fat storing cells or adipocytes are organized in lobular structures separated by collagen fiber septa. In this work, we use an individual-based model to investigate scenarios for the formation of these lobules. We find that they could result from the combination of volume exclusion constraints between the adipocytes and confinement by the elasticity of the collagen fibers. In particular, the model shows that vasculature does not seem to notably influence the outcome of this morphogenesis process. This study suggests that the role of vaculature in adipogenesis could be more complex than originally thought.
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University of Cambridge Research Councils UK
    Clay Mathematics Institute London Mathematical Society NM Rothschild and Sons