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The fractal spatial distribution of pancreatic islets in three dimensions: a self-avoiding growth model
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Molecular Medicine (UCMM).
Department of Medicine, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.
Department of Medicine, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.
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2013 (English)In: Physical Biology, ISSN 1478-3967, E-ISSN 1478-3975, Vol. 10, no 3, 036009- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The islets of Langerhans, responsible for controlling blood glucose levels, are dispersed within the pancreas. A universal power law governing the fractal spatial distribution of islets in two-dimensional pancreatic sections has been reported. However, the fractal geometry in the actual three-dimensional pancreas volume, and the developmental process that gives rise to such a self-similar structure, has not been investigated. Here, we examined the three-dimensional spatial distribution of islets in intact mouse pancreata using optical projection tomography and found a power law with a fractal dimension of 2.1. Furthermore, based on two-dimensional pancreatic sections of human autopsies, we found that the distribution of human islets also follows a universal power law with a fractal dimension of 1.5 in adult pancreata, which agrees with the value previously reported in smaller mammalian pancreas sections. Finally, we developed a self-avoiding growth model for the development of the islet distribution and found that the fractal nature of the spatial islet distribution may be associated with the self-avoidance in the branching process of vascularization in the pancreas.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institute of Physics Publishing (IOPP), 2013. Vol. 10, no 3, 036009- p.
National Category
Biophysics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-76799DOI: 10.1088/1478-3975/10/3/036009ISI: 000319863500020OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-76799DiVA: diva2:637147
Available from: 2013-07-16 Created: 2013-07-15 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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