Biological forms are very complex, and mechanisms of pattern formation are not well understood. Although developmental biology deals with the mechanistic explanation of patterns, currently we do not know how to understand the mechanisms of pattern formation from huge amounts of molecular information. In this article, I present one useful tool, mathematical modeling, to obtain a mechanistic understanding of biological pattern formation, and show an actual example in lung branching morphogenesis. In this example, mathematical modeling plays an indispensable role in understanding the biological phenomena. The model successfully reproduces the basic features of morphogenesis in vitro, but mechanism in vivo still remains to be elucidated.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- History and Philosophy of Science