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PLoS Comput Biol. 2018 Jul 3;14(7):e1006259. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006259. eCollection 2018 Jul.

Post-Turing tissue pattern formation: Advent of mechanochemistry.

Author information

1
Institute of Applied Mathematics, BioQuant and Interdisciplinary Center of Scientific Computing (IWR), Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany.
2
Magdeburg University, Institute for Analysis and Numerics, Magdeburg, Germany.

Abstract

Chemical and mechanical pattern formation is fundamental during embryogenesis and tissue development. Yet, the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms are still elusive in many cases. Most current theories assume that tissue development is driven by chemical processes: either as a sequence of chemical patterns each depending on the previous one, or by patterns spontaneously arising from specific chemical interactions (such as "Turing-patterns"). Within both theories, mechanical patterns are usually regarded as passive by-products of chemical pre-patters. However, several experiments question these theories, and an increasing number of studies shows that tissue mechanics can actively influence chemical patterns during development. In this study, we thus focus on the interplay between chemical and mechanical processes during tissue development. On one hand, based on recent experimental data, we develop new mechanochemical simulation models of evolving tissues, in which the full 3D representation of the tissue appears to be critical for obtaining a realistic mechanochemical behaviour. The presented modelling approach is flexible and numerically studied using state of the art finite element methods. Thus, it may serve as a basis to combine simulations with new experimental methods in tissue development. On the other hand, we apply the developed approach and demonstrate that even simple interactions between tissue mechanics and chemistry spontaneously lead to robust and complex mechanochemical patterns. Especially, we demonstrate that the main contradictions arising in the framework of purely chemical theories are naturally and automatically resolved using the mechanochemical patterning theory.

PMID:
29969460
PMCID:
PMC6047832
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006259
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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