Simulated embryonic and fetal cellular dynamics inside structured biomaterials

David W. Green, Gregory S. Watson, Jolanta A. Watson, Jong Min Lee, Han Sung Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In conventional tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, there is frequent modeling and simulation of adult repair and regeneration. However, this neglects the processes in the developmental origins of tissues and organs, between 8 and 28 weeks of early life, which are driven by the cellular harnessing of physical and mechanical force fields. The learning from early development process in the embryo and fetus promises faster, and facile replacements with accurate anatomical complexity. This can be achieved via the replication of five essential embryonic and fetal cell and tissue dynamic operations: invagination, E-M and M-E transitions, condensation and fusions. Moreover, with the recent evolution of structured biomaterials possessing physical and mechanical actuating elements, it is feasible to manufacture material systems that can impose variable physical constraints on cell functions and generate tissue realistic patterns. In this review, we explain the lessons that can be learned from the nature of physical and mechanical force fields exerted in cell group dynamic operations during embryogenesis and how these form simple anatomic tissue structures such as, cell sheets and cell condensates. Then, we highlight some recent materials bioengineering simulations of events during embryology and fetal development and produce tissue products with prospects for human therapy. Moreover, the manufacture of development inspired tissue products has been enhanced via microfluidic engineering, 3D printing, encapsulation techniques, self-organization, self-templating materials chemistry, fashioned to build developmentally significant biomaterial based systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-307
Number of pages17
JournalApplied Materials Today
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)


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