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About

Purpose

Cells and tissues interact with their physical environment, and can sense via mechanical signalling the presence and geometry of external boundaries. A key descriptor of boundary shape is the surface curvature and it has been indeed shown that surface curvature influences cell and tissue behaviour. The processes of growth and remodelling allow these boundaries to be moved and shaped by cells, thus creating a fundamental feedback between the development of form, biological response and the physics of the surrounding environment. Although these ideas go back to the classic work “On Growth and Form” from D’Arcy Thompson, only now do we have tools to investigate these topics in a quantitative and predictive manner.


The main challenge facing scientists working on the role of curvature on Biology, Tissue Engineering, Regenerative Medicine, and Sustainable Materials lies in its inherent interdisciplinary nature. A wide range of skill sets are required to firstly understand how geometric features control behaviour of cells/tissues and then secondly to be able to use this knowledge - for example in the optimisation of the design of implant materials or in the efficient use of biologically sourced materials. Biophysicists, Materials Scientists and Engineers, Biologists, Mathematicians, Clinicians, Architects all have roles to play but have very different backgrounds. A consequence of these differences is that key players in Europe from these fields work in different directions and often have extreme difficulties in communicating with each other. An important challenge of this COST Action will therefore be to bring different actors together and train them in each other’s respective “language” allowing for a more profound exchange of ideas.

Objectives

Research Coordination

Create a network of internationally renowned European Scientists interested in cross-disciplinary work between bioengineering, mathematics, biology, computer, materials science and physics with interests in materials and sustainable design.


Mentor younger researchers wishing to push the boundaries of their own training and research by helping them to develop collaborations both within and without this research community


Enhance collaboration between theoretical and experimental scientists dealing with issues related to curvature and biology.


Enhance outreach actions to public about the beauty of mathematics and the use of computational tools to explore biology.

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Capacity Building

Establish a systematic method to collect and summarize important scientific information from the different constituent fields that can be used by other fields to make studies between geometry and biology more efficient and focused.


Raise awareness of the field in the different countries and  support further development in the national contexts.


Support the development of novel interdisciplinary research programs related to the topics of shape and biology.


Develop and expand communications tools for outreach, especially to the general community by the production of educational material and participation in scientific exhibitions highlighting the beauty of mathematics in biology.


Inform industry partners and medical researchers about new methodologies and research ideas arising from the science being done within the COST Action.

 
Foster and support young scientists interested in working across fields, giving them opportunities and support to do cutting-edge science, and highlight their work to enhance future careers.


Improve the existing balance in the network between experience, gender and country of origin.

Working Program

Working Group 1 - Teaching & Outreach

Group leaders: André Castro and Aylin Şendemir

Objectives:

1) Develop a teaching curriculum to help new and established researchers learn and understand key concepts that will enable them to perform high-class research at the boundary between biology, mathematics, physics, and materials science.

2) Translate the research in a way that can be presented to the general public through targeted outreach, through contacts and links to artists and designers.

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Working Group 2 - Curvature of Cellular Membranes

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Group leaders: Victoria Vitkova and Marija Jankuniec

 

Objectives:

1) Determine the state-of-the-art in the current understanding of how curvature of cellular membranes is coupled to the biological processes occurring there.

 

2) Promote research collaborations leading to more fundamental understanding of membrane curvature.

Working Group 3 - Curvature & Single Cells

Group leaders: Laurent Pieuchot, Anupam Sengupta and Aleš Iglič

Objectives:

1) Collect scientific information about how surface curvature can influence the behaviour of a single cell lying either on or close to such as surface.

 

2) Promote research collaborations between the different associated fields.

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Working Group 4 - Curvature & the collective behaviour of cells (Tissues)

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Group leaders: Andreas Roschger, Silvia Mihăilă and Ioannis Papantoniou

Objectives:

1) Evaluate the current state of understanding of how curvature at length scales much larger
than a single cell, controls and influences the collective behaviour of cells or tissues

 

2) Explore how cells and tissues in turn influence macroscopic tissue shape.

Working Group 5 - Curvature across the scales

Group leader: Jens Vinge Nygaard

Objectives:

1) Explore how curvature interacts with biological systems from a scale independent viewpoint. Examples include exploring large length scales such as the scale of ecosystems.

 

2) Establish a unified framework for (scale-specific) mathematical tools integration – a multi-scale model paradigm

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More

What is COST?

COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) is a funding agency for research and innovation networks. Our Actions help connect research initiatives across Europe and enable scientists to grow their ideas by sharing them with their peers. This boosts their research, career and innovation. (www.cost.eu)

EuroCurvoBioNet - CA22153

● Approval date - 12/05/2023
● Start date - 19/09/2023

● End date - 18/09/2027

  1. Read the Project Description MoU - 063/23

  2. Inform the Main Proposer/Chair of your interest (email)

  3. Apply to join your Working Groups of interest

  4. Please note, Management Committee nominations are carried out through the COST National Contact Points

 

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