Kirill Larin of the Cullen College of Engineering at University of Houston, together with colleagues at the Texas Medical Center and Baylor College of Medicine, are capturing in vivo images of the mammalian heart as it develops. The acquisition of images relies on infrared micron scale optical-coherence tomography (OCT).
Kirill Larin from a statement by University of Houston:
“We are using OCT to image mouse and rat embryos, looking at video taken about seven days after conception, out of a 20-day typical mammalian pregnancy. This way, we are able to capture video of the embryonic heart before it begins beating, and a day later we can see the heart beginning to form in the shape of a tube and see whether or not the chambers are contracting. Then, we begin to see blood distribution and the heart rate.”
“Everything we know about early development of the heart and formation of the vasculature system comes from in vitro studies of fixed tissue samples or studies of amphibian and fish embryos. With this technology, we are able to image life as it happens, see the heart beat in a mammal for the very first time.”
Full story: The Embryonic Heart: Imaging Life as it Happens…