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Computational models for mechanics of morphogenesis

zichen's picture

In the developing embryo, tissues differentiate, deform, and move in an
orchestrated manner to generate various biological shapes driven by the complex
interplay between genetic, epigenetic, and environmental factors. Mechanics
plays a key role in regulating and controlling morphogenesis, and quantitative
models help us understand how various mechanical forces combine to shape the
embryo. Models allow for the quantitative, unbiased testing of physical
mechanisms, and when used appropriately, can motivate new
experimentaldirections. This knowledge benefits biomedical researchers who aim
to prevent and treat congenital malformations, as well as engineers working to
create replacement tissues in the laboratory. In this review, we first give an
overview of fundamental mechanical theories for morphogenesis, and then focus on
models for specific processes, including pattern formation, gastrulation,
neurulation, organogenesis, and wound healing. The role of mechanical feedback
in development is also discussed. Finally, some perspectives aregiven on the
emerging challenges in morphomechanics and mechanobiology.

Birth Defects
Research (Part C) 96:132–152, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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