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Beyond Turing: mechanochemical pattern formation in biological tissues

Mercker, Moritz ; Brinkmann, Felix ; Marciniak-Czochra, Anna ; Richter, Thomas

In: Biology Direct, 11 (2016), Nr. 22. pp. 1-15. ISSN 1745-6150

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Abstract

Background: During embryogenesis, chemical (morphogen) and mechanical patterns develop within tissues in a self-organized way. More than 60 years ago, Turing proposed his famous reaction-diffusion model for such processes, assuming chemical interactions as the main driving force in tissue patterning. However, experimental identification of corresponding molecular candidates is still incomplete. Recent results suggest that beside morphogens, also tissue mechanics play a significant role in these patterning processes. Results: Combining continuous finite strain with discrete cellular tissue models, we present and numerically investigate mechanochemical processes, in which morphogen dynamics and tissue mechanics are coupled by feedback loops. We consider three different mechanical cues involved in such feedbacks: strain, stress, and compression. Based on experimental results, for each case, we present a feedback loop spontaneously creating robust mechanochemical patterns. In contrast to Turing-type models, simple mechanochemical interaction terms are sufficient to create de novo patterns. Conclusions: Our results emphasize mechanochemical processes as possible candidates controlling different steps of embryogenesis. To motivate further experimental research discovering related mechanisms in living tissues, we also present predictive in silicio experiments. Reviewers: Reviewer 1 - Marek Kimmel; Reviewer 2 - Konstantin Doubrovinski (nominated by Ned Wingreen); Reviewer 3 - Jun Allard (nominated by William Hlavacek).

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Biology Direct
Volume: 11
Number: 22
Publisher: BioMed Central
Place of Publication: London
Date Deposited: 09 May 2016 11:59
Date: 2016
ISSN: 1745-6150
Page Range: pp. 1-15
Faculties / Institutes: The Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science > Department of Applied Mathematics
Service facilities > Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing
Service facilities > Bioquant
Subjects: 510 Mathematics
570 Life sciences
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