Pattern formation by cultured human epidermal cells: development of curved ridges resembling dermatoglyphs

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Science  23 Jun 1978:
Vol. 200, Issue 4348, pp. 1385-1388
DOI: 10.1126/science.663617


In cultures made from disaggregated human epidermal cells, growth to a confluent cell layer is followed by the emergence of patterns resembling those of human dermatoglyphs. These patterns reflect intrinsic properties of kertinocytes. In vivo, only the epidermis of the volar surfaces forms patterns, but in culture, patterns are formed by epidermal cells from other sites as well. Patterns develop by a process of cell movement which first produces ridges and then curves the ridges into figures of increasing complexity, ultimately whorls.