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The bending of cell sheets - from folding to rolling

Ray Keller and David Shook

Author affiliations

Department of Biology, 241 Gilmer Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904, USA

Citation and License

BMC Biology 2011, 9:90  doi:10.1186/1741-7007-9-90

Published: 29 December 2011


The bending of cell sheets plays a major role in multicellular embryonic morphogenesis. Recent advances are leading to a deeper understanding of how the biophysical properties and the force-producing behaviors of cells are regulated, and how these forces are integrated across cell sheets during bending. We review work that shows that the dynamic balance of apical versus basolateral cortical tension controls specific aspects of invagination of epithelial sheets, and recent evidence that tissue expansion by growth contributes to neural retinal invagination in a stem cell-derived, self-organizing system. Of special interest is the detailed analysis of the type B inversion in Volvox reported in BMC Biology by Höhn and Hallmann, as this is a system that promises to be particularly instructive in understanding morphogenesis of any monolayered spheroid system.

See research article: webcite