The mortality rate of many complex multicellular organisms increases with age, which suggests that net ageing damage is accumulative, despite remodelling processes. But how exactly do these little mishaps in the cellular level accumulate and spread to become a systemic catastrophe? To address this question we present experiments with synthetic tissues, an analytical model consistent with experiments, and a number of implications that follow the analytical model. Our theoretical framework describes how shape, curvature and density influences the propagation of failure in a tissue subjected to oxidative damage. We propose that ageing is an emergent property governed by interaction between cells, and that intercellular processes play a role that is at least as important as intracellular ones.
Suma, D., Acun, A., Zorlutuna, P., & Vural, D. C. (2018). Interdependence theory of tissue failure: Bulk and boundary effects. Royal Society Open Science, 5(2). https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.171395