The head is made up of multiple skeletal elements and birth defects affecting these bones and cartilages can be catastrophic. We have very little understanding of what controls the size and shape of these irregular skeletal forms. A better understanding of this control will improve our treatment of craniofacial anomalies and future efforts in repair and regeneration of skeletal forms. In this project, we combine genetically modified mouse models (Liu) with nano-patterning approaches (Chiappini) to study shape changes in condensing mesenchyme. These allow us to mathematically model (Page) formation of the skeletal elements. Overall the goal is to understand characteristic facial changes in human ciliopathy patients.
1. Onesto, V. Barrell, WB, Okesola, M, Amato F, Gentile F, Liu KJ, Chiappini. Biomedical Microdevices 21, 2019. A quantitative approach for determining the role of geometrical constraints when shaping mesenchymal condensations.
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