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New Trends in the Physics and Mechanics of Biological SystemsLecture Notes of the Les Houches Summer School: Volume 92, July 2009$
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Martine Ben Amar, Alain Goriely, Martin Michael Müller, and Leticia Cugliandolo

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199605835

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199605835.001.0001

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How cell mechanics shapes embryos

How cell mechanics shapes embryos

(p.339) 11 How cell mechanics shapes embryos
New Trends in the Physics and Mechanics of Biological Systems

Michel Labouesse

Oxford University Press

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.

Keywords:   embryonic development, morphogenesis, cell shape, cytoskeleton, junctions, tension, adhesion, boundary, Drosophila, C. elegans

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