Acomys Dimidiatus spine follicles
In collaboration with The Milinkovitch and Tzika Lab, we study the development of the spine follicles covering the lower back of the Acomys Dimidiatus mouse (also known as the spiny mouse). The specific structure and the developmental stages of these spiny hairs follicles were observed experimentally and reported by Montandon et al. in the article intitled "Two waves of anisotropic growth generate enlarged follicles in the spiny mouse" (EvoDevo, 5(1):113, 2014).
We focus in our simulations on the biological and physical mechanisms that shape the spine follicles. We investigate the factors that drive the Dermal Papilla (DP) cells, located at the center of the follicle, to flatten and slightly off-center between the embryonic stages E32 and E36 (32 and 36 days after fertilization), while Matrix cells, at the periphery of the follicle, proliferate yielding an enlarged follicle.