MorphoMechanX

MorphoMechanX is an AddOn for MorphoDynamX that enables the mechanical modeling of biological tissues by means of Finite Element Method (FEM) for solid mechanics. Unlike engineering FEM softwares, MorphoMechanX is specialized for elements that grow and subdivide, and allows growth and mechanics to interact with genetic network simulation in MorphoDynamX. The software is highly parallelized by means of the Thrust library which can use Cuda on nVidia GPUs or OMP on the host processor. MorphoMechanX is developed in collaboration with Gabriella Mosca, and has evolved from her PhD work.

Steady state mechanics

Realistic templates extracted with MorphoGraphX, or idealized plant cells are inflated with turgor pressure and the resulting stresses visualized. These simulations are primarily used to study the effect of cell geometry on stress, or to interpret the results of micro-indentation experiments performed with the Cellular Force Microscope (CFM) and its controlling software MorphoRobotX.

Simulation showing the turgor induced stresses on a template extracted from confocal images of Arabidopsis puzzle cells (see Sapala et al. 2018, eLife).

Dynamic growth mechanics

MorphoMechanX allows finite elements to grow, with growth specified directly as model parameters, or from the output of molecular signaling networks performed in MorphoDynamX. The software can be used both for cellular models and continuous tissue simulation.

Simulation of growth on a continuous tissue. Increased growth of the top causes the structure to buckle like a daffodil corona.

To obtain a pre-release copy of MorphoMechanX and sample models, please email Richard Smith .

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