Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study provides new insights into structure of heart muscle fibers

29.05.2012
Discovery could be used to help engineer artificial tissue

A study led by researchers from McGill University provides new insights into the structure of muscle tissue in the heart – a finding that promises to contribute to the study of heart diseases and to the engineering of artificial heart tissue.

The research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), reveals that the muscle fibers in the heart wall are locally arranged in a special "minimal surface," the generalized helicoid. The results add a significant new dimension to our understanding of the structure and function of heart-wall muscle fiber since minimal surfaces arise in nature as optimal solutions to physical problems. (A more familiar example of a minimal surface is the film that forms when a wireframe is dipped in a solution of soap.)

Surgeons and anatomists have been examining the geometry of muscle fibers in the heart for decades, and have long known that muscle cells are aligned to form helices that wind around the ventricles. But these analyses have been confined largely to the level of individual fibers. Partly because of the limitations of traditional histology techniques, little work has been done on the more-complex geometry of groups of fibers.

Working with collaborators at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, and Yale University in the U.S., the McGill-led team used a combination of Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging (dMRI) and computer modeling to reveal the way that bundles of fibers bend together. The researchers examined images of the heart tissue of rats, humans and dogs – and found the same pattern.

"You can think of it as analyzing a clump of hair instead of an individual hair strand," explains Professor Kaleem Siddiqi of McGill's School of Computer Science. "We've discovered that the clump bends and twists in the form of a particular minimal surface, the generalized helicoid – and this is true across species. It's not particular to just one mammal. The implications of these findings are broad."

The knowledge could be used, for example, to provide a scaffold to guide the repair of heart-wall damage caused by heart attacks. While regeneration of muscle tissue is a major area in bioengineering, most developments in this field have involved skeletal muscle tissue – such as that in arms and legs – which is arranged in a different, more linear structure.

The first author of the study is Dr. Peter Savadjiev of Harvard Medical School, whose research on this problem began while he was a doctoral student of Prof. Siddiqi's at McGill. Other co-authors of the paper are Gustav J. Strijkers and Adrianus J. Bakermans of Eindhoven University, Emmanuel Piuze of McGill, and Steven W. Zucker of Yale University.

The research was supported with funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Fonds de recherche du Québec - Nature et technologies (FQRNT), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Dutch Technology Foundation, and the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO).

Chris Chipello | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mcgill.ca

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Self-organising system enables motile cells to form complex search pattern
07.05.2019 | Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

nachricht Mouse studies show minimally invasive route can accurately administer drugs to brain
02.05.2019 | Johns Hopkins Medicine

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fraunhofer IDMT demonstrates its method for acoustic quality inspection at »Sensor+Test 2019« in Nürnberg

From June 25th to 27th 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT in Ilmenau (Germany) will be presenting a new solution for acoustic quality inspection allowing contact-free, non-destructive testing of manufactured parts and components. The method which has reached Technology Readiness Level 6 already, is currently being successfully tested in practical use together with a number of industrial partners.

Reducing machine downtime, manufacturing defects, and excessive scrap

Im Focus: Successfully Tested in Praxis: Bidirectional Sensor Technology Optimizes Laser Material Deposition

The quality of additively manufactured components depends not only on the manufacturing process, but also on the inline process control. The process control ensures a reliable coating process because it detects deviations from the target geometry immediately. At LASER World of PHOTONICS 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be demonstrating how well bi-directional sensor technology can already be used for Laser Material Deposition (LMD) in combination with commercial optics at booth A2.431.

Fraunhofer ILT has been developing optical sensor technology specifically for production measurement technology for around 10 years. In particular, its »bd-1«...

Im Focus: The hidden structure of the periodic system

The well-known representation of chemical elements is just one example of how objects can be arranged and classified

The periodic table of elements that most chemistry books depict is only one special case. This tabular overview of the chemical elements, which goes back to...

Im Focus: MPSD team discovers light-induced ferroelectricity in strontium titanate

Light can be used not only to measure materials’ properties, but also to change them. Especially interesting are those cases in which the function of a material can be modified, such as its ability to conduct electricity or to store information in its magnetic state. A team led by Andrea Cavalleri from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg used terahertz frequency light pulses to transform a non-ferroelectric material into a ferroelectric one.

Ferroelectricity is a state in which the constituent lattice “looks” in one specific direction, forming a macroscopic electrical polarisation. The ability to...

Im Focus: Determining the Earth’s gravity field more accurately than ever before

Researchers at TU Graz calculate the most accurate gravity field determination of the Earth using 1.16 billion satellite measurements. This yields valuable knowledge for climate research.

The Earth’s gravity fluctuates from place to place. Geodesists use this phenomenon to observe geodynamic and climatological processes. Using...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on UV LED Technologies & Applications – ICULTA 2020 | Call for Abstracts

24.06.2019 | Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

2nd International Conference on UV LED Technologies & Applications – ICULTA 2020 | Call for Abstracts

24.06.2019 | Event News

'Sneezing' plants contribute to disease proliferation

24.06.2019 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

Researchers find new mutation in the leptin gene

24.06.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>