Fractal geometry in mosaic organs: A new interpretation of mosaic pattern

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23 Scopus citations


Fractal geometries have been widely observed in nature. The formulation of mathematical treatments of non-Euclidean geometry has generated models of highly complex natural phenomena. In the field of developmental biology, branching morphogenesis has been explained in terms of self-similar iterating branching rules that have done much toward explaining branch patterns observed in a range of real tissue. In solid viscera the problem is more complicated because there is no readily available marker of geometry in parenchymal tissue. Mosaic pattern provides such a marker. The patches observed in mosaic liver are shown to be fractal, indicating that the pattern may have arisen from a self-similar process (i.e., a process that creates an object in which small areas are representative of, although not necessarily identical to, the whole object). This observation offers a new analytical approach to the study of biologic structure in organogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1508-1512
Number of pages5
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1990


  • chimeras
  • fractal dimension
  • mosaic pattern
  • organogenesis
  • patches

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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