Modelling in vitro lung branching morphogenesis during development

Dirk Hartmann, Takashi Miura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


It has been shown experimentally that lung epithelial explants have an ability to undergo branching morphogenesis without mesenchyme. However, the mechanisms of this phenomenon remain to be elucidated. In the present study, we construct a mathematical model that can reproduce the dynamics of in vitro branching morphogenesis. We show that the system is essentially governed by three variables-c0 which is the initial fibroblast growth factor (FGF) concentration, D which is the diffusion coefficient of FGF, and β which describes the mechanical strength of the cytoskeleton. It is confirmed by numerical simulations that this model can reproduce the experimentally obtained patterns qualitatively. Finally, we experimentally verify two predictions from the model: effects of very high FGF concentration and effects of small mechanical contributions of the cytoskeleton. The theoretical predictions match well with the experimental results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)862-872
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 21 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Applied Mathematics


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