The nonlinear initiation of side-branching by activator-inhibitor-substrate (Turing) morphogenesis

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3 Scopus citations


An understanding of the underlying mechanism of side-branching is paramount in controlling and/or therapeutically treating mammalian organs, such as lungs, kidneys, and glands. Motivated by an activator-inhibitor-substrate approach that is conjectured to dominate the initiation of side-branching in a pulmonary vascular pattern, I demonstrate a distinct transverse front instability in which new fingers grow out of an oscillatory breakup dynamics at the front line without any typical length scale. These two features are attributed to unstable peak solutions in 1D that subcritically emanate from Turing bifurcation and that exhibit repulsive interactions. The results are based on a bifurcation analysis and numerical simulations and provide a potential strategy toward also developing a framework of side-branching for other biological systems, such as plant roots and cellular protrusions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number051102
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Applied Mathematics


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