The cytoskeletal mechanics of brain morphogenesis

  title={The cytoskeletal mechanics of brain morphogenesis},
  author={Richard Gordon and G. Wayne Brodland},
  journal={Cell Biophysics},
There is a functional device in embryonic ectodermal cells that we propose causes them to differentiate into either neuroepithelial or epidermal tissue during the process called primary neural induction. We call this apparatus the “cell state splitter”. Its main components are the apical microfilament ring and the coplanar apical mat of microtubules, which exert forces in opposite radial directions. We analyze the mechanical interaction between these cytoskeletal components and show that they… 

Mechanical control of tissue morphogenesis during embryological development.

  • D. Ingber
  • Biology, Engineering
    The International journal of developmental biology
  • 2006
This work confirms that mechanical forces generated in the cytoskeleton of individual cells and exerted on ECM scaffolds, play a critical role in the sculpting of the embryo.

The organelle of differentiation in embryos: the cell state splitter

In combination with the differentiation waves they propagate, cell state splitters explain the spatiotemporal course of differentiation in the developing embryo.

Coupling of Growth, Differentiation and Morphogenesis: An Integrated Approach to Design in Embryogenesis

A framework is provided for explaining the whole spatiotemporal course of embryogenesis, and thus the basis for the design of organisms.

Mechanics in embryogenesis and embryonics: prime mover or epiphenomenon?

  • R. Gordon
  • Biology
    The International journal of developmental biology
  • 2006
Embryonics, the realization of concepts from embryology in computer hardware and software, might be considerably enhanced by incorporating mechanical concepts of embryogenesis, in a synthesis that the authors could call embryonic robotics.

Reverse engineering the mechanical and molecular pathways in stem cell morphogenesis

It is suggested that morphogenesis may be reverse engineered to uncover its interacting mechanical pathway and molecular circuitry by harnessing the latent architecture of stem cells and novel tissue‐engineering strategies may be conceptualized for generating self‐organizing transplants.

Modelling apical constriction in epithelia using elastic shell theory

An enhanced shell theory is developed in which the stiffness and bending tensors of the shell are modified to include the fibres’ stiffness, and the active effects of the contraction appear as body forces in the shell equilibrium equations.



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Evidence is presented which suggests that microfilament bundles play an active role in apical constriction, and that this localized contraction is produced by filament sliding.

Neurulation and the cortical tractor model for epithelial folding.

Here the process of neurulation in amphibians is reexamine in light of the cortical tractor model, and it is found that it provides an integrated view of this important morphogenetic process.

Cell Constriction: Contractile Role of Microfilaments in Division and Development

The role of micro Filaments in causing cell constrictions is discussed from a comparative point of view, and a sliding mechanism of microfilament contractility is discussed, as are possible mechanisms involved in filament alignment.

Studies on the mechanisms of neurulation in the chick: interrelationship of contractile proteins, microfilaments, and the shape of neuroepithelial cells.

Electron microscopy and indirect immunofluorescence were employed to correlate the distribution patterns of major contractile proteins (actin and myosin) with 1) the organizational state of microfilaments, 2) the apical cell surface topography, 3) the shape of the neuroepithelium during neurulation in chick embryos at Hamburger and Hamilton stages 5-10 of development.

Studies on the mechanism of neurulation in the chick: Microfilament‐mediated changes in cell shape during uplifting of neural folds

The organization and properties of microfilaments of developing chick neuroepithelial cells were investigated in an attempt to elucidate the structural basis for the observed changes in cell shape