The study of the developing cardiovascular system in mice is important for understanding human cardiogenesis and congenital heart defects. Our research focuses on imaging early development in the mouse embryo to specifically understand cardiovascular development under the regulation of dynamic factors like contractile force and blood flow using optical coherence tomography (OCT). We have previously developed an OCT based approach that combines static embryo culture and advanced image processing with computational modeling to live-image mouse embryos and obtain 4D (3D+time) cardiodynamic datasets. Here we present live 4D dynamic blood flow imaging of the early embryonic mouse heart in correlation with heart wall movement. We are using this approach to understand how specific mutations impact heart wall dynamics, and how this influences flow patterns and cardiogenesis. We perform studies in mutant embryos with cardiac phenotypes such as myosin regulatory light chain 2, atrial isoform (Mlc2a). This work is brings us closer to understanding the connections between dynamic mechanical factors and gene programs responsible for early cardiovascular development.
Andrew L. Lopez, Shang Wang, Kirill V. Larin, and Irina V. Larina, "Live dynamic analysis of the developing cardiovascular system in mice," Proc. SPIE 10043, Diagnosis and Treatment of Diseases in the Breast and Reproductive System, 100430Q (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 29, 2017; Published: 8 February 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2252694.
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