Oct 16, 2015

A preferred curvature-based continuum mechanics framework for modeling embryogenesis with application to Drosophila mesoderm invagination

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Khaled KhairyPhilipp Keller


Mechanics plays a key role in the development of higher organisms. However, understanding the role of mechanics is complicated by the fact that it has proven difficult to model the link between local forces generated at the subcellular level, and tissue deformation at the whole-embryo level. Here we propose an approach first developed for lipid bilayers and cell membranes, in which force-generation at the cytoskeletal level only enters the shape mechanics calculation in the form of local changes in preferred tissue curvature. This allows us to formulate the continuum mechanics problem purely in terms of tissue strains. Relaxing the system by lowering its mechanical energy yields global morphogenetic predictions that accommodate the tendency towards this local preferred curvature, without explicitly modeling molecular-scale force-generating mechanisms. Our computational framework, which we call SPHARM-MECH, extends a three-dimensional spherical harmonics parameterization known as SPHARM to combine this level of abstraction with a sparse shape representation. The integration of these two principles allows computer simulations to be performed in three dimensions, on highly complex shapes, gene expression patterns, and mechanical c...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Germ-band Extension
Cell Movement
Whole Body Imaging
Cell Motility
Entire Embryo
Molecular Modeling

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