The vertex model is a useful mathematical model to describe the dynamics of epithelial cell sheets. However, existing vertex models do not distinguish contraction forces on the cell boundary from adhesion between cells, employing a single parameter to express both. In this paper, we introduce the rest length of the cell boundary and its dynamics into the existing vertex model, giving a novel formulation of the model that treats separately the contraction force and the strength of adhesion between cells. We apply this vertex model to the phenomenon of compartment boundary in the fruit fly pupa, recapturing the observation that increasing the strength of adhesion between cells straightens the compartment boundary, even though contraction forces at cell boundaries remain unchanged. We also discuss possibilities of the novel vertex models by considering the stretching of a cell sheet by external forces.
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