Computational models for mechanics of morphogenesis

Matthew A. Wyczalkowski, Zi Chen, Benjamen A. Filas, Victor D. Varner, Larry A. Taber
2012 Birth Defects Research Part C Embryo Today Reviews  
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,
more » ... motivate new experimental directions. 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 are given on the emerging challenges in morphomechanics and mechanobiology.
doi:10.1002/bdrc.21013 pmid:22692887 pmcid:PMC3374861 fatcat:5ki7bda4dfgeloyvgsvd3i3uxy