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Generation, Transmission, and Regulation of Mechanical Forces in Embryonic Morphogenesis

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Embryonic morphogenesis is a biological process which depicts shape forming of tissues and organs during development. Unveiling the roles of mechanical forces generated, transmitted, and regulated in cells and tissues through these processes is key to understanding the biophysical mechanisms governing morphogenesis. To this end, it is imperative to measure, simulate, and predict the regulation and control of these mechanical forces during morphogenesis. This article aims to provide a comprehensive review of the recent advances on mechanical properties of cells and tissues, generation of mechanical forces in cells and tissues, the transmission processes of these generated forces during cells and tissues, the tools and methods used to measure and predict these mechanical forces in vivo, in vitro, or in silico, and to better understand the corresponding regulation and control of generated forces. Understanding the biomechanics and mechanobiology of morphogenesis will not only shed light on the fundamental physical mechanisms underlying these concerted biological processes during normal development, but also uncover new information that will benefit biomedical research in preventing and treating congenital defects or tissue engineering and regeneration.

Keywords: biomechanics; embryonic development; gastrulation; mechanotransduction; morphogenesis.



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