3D Substitution Model for Limb Growth and Pattern Formation
Wendy Zhang Indiana University
Stuart A. Newman New York Medical College
James A. Glazier Indiana University
Substitution models are iterative procedures for developing complex structures. While substitution models are common in bioinformatics analyses of protein structure, we have found substitution models are also useful for describing development at the cellular level, agreeing well with experimental data on developmental systems, including cell division, differentiation, cell-cell interactions, and cell movement in response to external fields. During development of the vertebrate limb, spatiotemporally regulated condensation of mesenchymal cells, followed by chondrogenesis, leads to a pattern of skeletal elements. We have devised a three-dimensional substitution model by simple rules to describe limb growth, cell differentiation, and cartilage pattern formation, incorporating mechanical constraints. We have validated the model by predicting the cell behavior and comparing it to experimental data.