Volume 12 (2015) Pages 13-20
During morphogenesis, various cellular activities are spatiotemporally coordinated on the protein regulatory background to construct the complicated, three-dimensional (3D) structures of organs. Computational simulations using 3D vertex models have been the focus of efforts to approach the mechanisms underlying 3D multicellular constructions, such as dynamics of the 3D monolayer or multilayer cell sheet like epithelia as well as the 3D compacted cell aggregate, including dynamic changes in layer structures. 3D vertex models enable the quantitative simulation of multicellular morphogenesis on the basis of single-cell mechanics, with complete control of various cellular activities such as cell contraction, growth, rearrangement, division, and death. This review describes the general use of the 3D vertex model, along with its applications to several simplified problems of developmental phenomena.