Mechanochemical models for generating biological pattern and form in development

J. D. Murray, P. K. Maini, R. T. Tranquillo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


The central issue in development is the formation of spatial patterns of cells in the early embryo. The mechanisms which generate these patterns are unknown. Here we describe the new Oster-Murray mechanochemical approach to the problem, the elements of which are experimentally well documented. By way of illustration we derive one of the basic models from first principles and apply it to a variety of problems of current interest and research. We specifically discuss the formation of skin organ patterns, such as feather and scale germs, cartilage condensations in the developing vertebrate limb and finally wound healing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-84
Number of pages26
JournalPhysics Reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1988

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
PKM would like to acknowledge the Science and Engineering Research Council of Great Britain for its support (Grant GR/ c/63595). RTT was supported by a NATO postdoctoral fellowship. RU would also like to thank the Centre for Mathematical Biology for its hospitality during the tenure of his NATO fellowship.


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