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Development. 2010 May;137(9):1407-20. doi: 10.1242/dev.024166.

Mechanical control of tissue and organ development.

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  • 1Vascular Biology Program, Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Many genes and molecules that drive tissue patterning during organogenesis and tissue regeneration have been discovered. Yet, we still lack a full understanding of how these chemical cues induce the formation of living tissues with their unique shapes and material properties. Here, we review work based on the convergence of physics, engineering and biology that suggests that mechanical forces generated by living cells are as crucial as genes and chemical signals for the control of embryological development, morphogenesis and tissue patterning.

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