Complex structures from patterned cell sheets.
The formation of three-dimensional structures from patterned epithelial sheets plays a key role in tissue morphogenesis. An important class of morphogenetic mechanisms relies on the spatio-temporal control of apical cell contractility, which can result in the localized bending of cell sheets and in-plane cell rearrangements. We have recently proposed a modified vertex model that can be used to systematically explore the connection between the two-dimensional patterns of cell properties and the emerging three-dimensional structures. Here we review the proposed modelling framework and illustrate it through the computational analysis of the vertex model that captures the salient features of the formation of the dorsal appendages during oogenesis.This article is part of the themed issue 'Systems morphodynamics: understanding the development of tissue hardware'.