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Single and collective cellular oscillations involving the actomyosin cytoskeleton have been observed in numerous biological systems. We show here that a generic model of a contractile material, which is turning over and contracts against an elastic element, exhibits spontaneous oscillations. Such a model can thus account for shape oscillations observed in amnioserosa cells during dorsal closure of the Drosophila embryo. We investigate the collective dynamics of an ensemble of such oscillatorsarXiv:1402.5390v1 fatcat:jop7o62rsvb3zkl3l77s54b6ge