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The absence of tools for mapping the forces that drive morphogenetic movements in embryos has impeded our understanding of animal development. Here we describe a unique approach, video force microscopy (VFM), that allows detailed, dynamic force maps to be produced from time-lapse images. The forces at work in an embryo are considered to be decomposed into(More)
Laser microsurgery and finite element modeling are used to determine the cell-level mechanics of the amnioserosa-a morphogenetically crucial epithelium on the dorsal surface of fruit fly embryos (Drosophila melanogaster). In the experiments, a tightly focused laser ablates a subcellular hole (1 microm in diameter) that passes clean through the epithelium.(More)
Although cell-level mechanical forces are crucial to tissue self-organization in contexts ranging from embryo development to cancer metastases to regenerative engineering, the absence of methods to map them over time has been a major obstacle to new understanding. Here, we present a technique for constructing detailed, dynamic maps of the forces driving(More)
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