Many researchers have tried to create a mathematical model of how
cells pack together to form tissue, but most models have many
different complicated factors and no model is universal.
Researchers at Northwestern University have now created a functional
equation using only two parameters to show how cells pack together
to create the eyes of Drosophila, better known as the fruit fly. They
hope that the pared-down equation can be applied to different kinds of
tissues, leading to advances in regenerative medicine.
Sascha Hilgenfeldt, associate professor of engineering sciences and
applied mathematics and mechanical engineering, teamed up with Richard
W. Carthew, professor of biochemistry, molecular biology, and cell
biology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Science, and Sinem
Erisken, a McCormick undergraduate studying biomedical engineering, to
create the model. Their work was published online Jan. 11 by the
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
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