The complex shapes of animal bodies are constructed through a sequence of simple physical interactions of constituent cells. Mechanical forces generated by cellular activities, such as division, death, shape change and rearrangement, drive tissue morphogenesis. By confining assembly or disassembly of actomyosin networks within the three-dimensional space of the cell, cells can localize forces to induce tissue deformation. Tissue-scale morphogenesis emerges from a collective behavior of cells that coordinates the force generation in space and time. Thus, the molecular mechanisms that govern the temporal and spatial regulation of forces in individual cells are elemental to organogenesis, and the tissue-scale coordination of forces generated by individual cells is key to determining the final shape of organs.
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