Developmental biology (“development” for short) deals with how the mature animal or plant results from a single fertilized cell. This paper is concerned with one aspect of development, morphogenesis—the formation of complex shapes from simpler ones. In particular, this paper focuses on organ development and illustrates the central role that mechanical feedback plays in effecting the final shape of various organs. The first aim of this paper is to illustrate how self-governing autonomous control systems can lead to the development of organs such as the heart. Although feedback plays a key role in these processes, the field is largely unexplored by controls engineers; hence, the second aim of this paper is to introduce mechanical feedback during development to controls engineers and suggest avenues for future research.

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