Folding of the cerebral cortical surface is a critical process in human brain development, yet despite decades of indirect study and speculation the mechanics of the process remain incompletely understood. Leading hypotheses have focused on the roles of circumferential expansion of the cortex, radial growth, and internal tension in neuronal fibers (axons). In this article, we review advances in the mathematical modeling of growth and morphogenesis and new experimental data, which together promise to clarify the mechanical basis of cortical folding. Recent experimental studies have illuminated not only the fundamental cellular and molecular processes underlying cortical development, but also the stress state and mechanical behavior of the developing brain. The combination of mathematical modeling and biomechanical data provides a means to evaluate hypothesized mechanisms objectively and quantitatively, and to ensure that they are consistent with physical law, given plausible assumptions and reasonable parameter values.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||14|
|Journal||Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2014|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering
- Mechanics of Materials