How cell mechanics shapes embryos
Embryonic morphogenesis refers to the stages during which embryos and their organs acquire their functional structure. It requires groups of cells with similar properties to organize themselves in space and adopt distinctive shapes. The physical mechanisms that control cell dynamics during that time are slowly beginning to emerge from the study of a few simple systems. This chapter presents some examples outlining the current understanding of cell mechanics from the physics point of view, emphasizing the balance between cortical tension and cell adhesion, the behaviour of motors, and the response to tension. It also outlines how modelling is gaining prominence.
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