Scaling and regeneration of self-organized patterns

Phys Rev Lett. 2015 Apr 3;114(13):138101. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.114.138101. Epub 2015 Apr 1.


Biological patterns generated during development and regeneration often scale with organism size. Some organisms, e.g., flatworms, can regenerate a rescaled body plan from tissue fragments of varying sizes. Inspired by these examples, we introduce a generalization of Turing patterns that is self-organized and self-scaling. A feedback loop involving diffusing expander molecules regulates the reaction rates of a Turing system, thereby adjusting pattern length scales proportional to system size. Our model captures essential features of body plan regeneration in flatworms as observed in experiments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Patterning / physiology*
  • Models, Biological*
  • Planarians
  • Regeneration / physiology*