Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Reentrant wetting transition in the spreading of cellular aggregates


We study the spreading on soft substrates of cellular aggregates by using CT26 cells that produce extracellular matrix (ECM). Compared to our previous work on the spreading of S180 cellular aggregates, which do not secrete ECM, we find that the spreading velocity of the precursor film is also maximal for intermediate rigidities, but new striking features show up. First, we observe a cascade of liquid-gas-liquid (L/G/L) transitions of the precursor film as the substrate rigidity is decreased. We attribute the L/G transition to a decrease of cell/cell adhesion resulting from the weakening of the cell/substrate adhesion. We attribute the reentrant liquid phase (G/L) observed on soft substrates to the slow spreading of the aggregate on ultra-soft substrates, which gives time to the cells to secrete more ECM proteins and stick together. Second, a nematic order appears in the cohesive (liquid) states of the precursor film, attributed to the gradient of cell’s velocities.

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 18 Apr 2017, accepted on 12 Oct 2017 and first published on 13 Oct 2017

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7SM00768J
Citation: Soft Matter, 2017, Accepted Manuscript
  •   Request permissions

    Reentrant wetting transition in the spreading of cellular aggregates

    G. Beaune, G. Duclos, N. Khalifat, T. V. Stirbat, D. Vignjevic and F. Brochard-Wyart, Soft Matter, 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7SM00768J

Search articles by author