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Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2009 Nov;41(11):2147-62. doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2009.04.015. Epub 2009 Apr 24.

Multi-scale mechanics from molecules to morphogenesis.

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1
Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, 3501 Fifth Avenue, 5059-BST3, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. lad43@pitt.edu

Abstract

Dynamic mechanical processes shape the embryo and organs during development. Little is understood about the basic physics of these processes, what forces are generated, or how tissues resist or guide those forces during morphogenesis. This review offers an outline of some of the basic principles of biomechanics, provides working examples of biomechanical analyses of developing embryos, and reviews the role of structural proteins in establishing and maintaining the mechanical properties of embryonic tissues. Drawing on examples we highlight the importance of investigating mechanics at multiple scales from milliseconds to hours and from individual molecules to whole embryos. Lastly, we pose a series of questions that will need to be addressed if we are to understand the larger integration of molecular and physical mechanical processes during morphogenesis and organogenesis.

PMID:
19394436
PMCID:
PMC2753763
DOI:
10.1016/j.biocel.2009.04.015
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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