Invagination means to fold inward or to sheath. In biology, this can refer to a number of processes.
- Invagination is the morphogenetic processes by which an embryo takes form, and is the initial step of gastrulation, the massive reorganization of the embryo from a simple spherical ball of cells, the blastula, into a multi-layered organism, with differentiated germ layers: endoderm, mesoderm, and ectoderm. More localized invaginations also occur later in embryonic development, to form coelom, etc.
- The inner membrane of a mitochondrion invaginates to form cristae, thus providing a much greater surface area to accommodate the protein complexes and other participants that produce ATP.
- Invagination occurs during endocytosis and exocytosis when a vesicle forms within the cell and the membrane closes around it.
In the humanities:
- Used to explain a special kind of meta narrative. Used by Rosalyn Krauss and Jacques Derrida (The Law of Genre,” Glyph 7 (1980).