Molecular Mechanism of Self-Organization in Biological Systems

  • Tara Karimi


Self-organization is the autonomous formation of complex structures from units of less complexity by local internal interactions. As a precise model of self-organization in nature, embryonic organogenesis is a process where different tissues and organs form in a growing embryo by the autonomous assembling of cells together.

Embryonic self-organization, which occurs at different levels of complexity from nano to macro levels in biological systems, is a highly efficient autonomous process. Self-organization is like robotics without wires and motors. It means the manufacturing program is embedded in materials themselves.

When we look at the manufacturing and construction process through different industries, there are major efficiency issues in energy consumption and labor work compared to autonomous formation and assembling of system’s parts during self-organization.

In this chapter, we will discuss the regulatory mechanisms behind embryonic organogenesis through the information storage in biomolecules. In addition, specifically, we discuss on molecular regulation of both differentiation and morphogenesis and their application in regenerative medicine. Deep understanding of regulatory mechanisms of self-organization can open new avenues in designing next generation smart, self-organizing materials and systems for both industrial and biomedical applications.


Self-organization Embryonic organogenesis Morphogenesis Protein folding Autonomous manufacturing Programmable materials 3D and 4D printing Cognitive chemistry 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tara Karimi
    • 1
  1. 1.Tulane Medical CenterTulane UniversityNew OrleansUSA

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