"3D Substitution Model for Limb Growth and Pattern Formation"
Substitution models are iterative procedures for developing complex structures. While substitution models are common in bioinformatics, we have found that substitution models are also useful for describing development at the cellular level, agreeing well with experimental data on developmental system, 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 to describe limb growth, cell differentiation and cartilage pattern formation, incorporating mechanical constraints. We have validated the model by predicting cell behavior and comparing it to experimental data