Researchers at Imperial College London created a bioreactor to allow heart tissue to experience mechanical forces in sync with the beats, like it would in the body, to study the mechanics of healthy and diseased hearts.
It is difficult to study hearts in the laboratory because of their incredible ability to change in response to their environment. Hearts in healthy athletes enlarge to support the increased demands on the body, hearts in those with chronic hypertension get thicker and less elastic and can eventually fail.
Heart tissue in labs undergoes remodeling, making it difficult to understand heart physiology and to develop new medicines for heart disease. Graduate student Fotios Pitoulis, working in Cesare Terracciano's lab at Imperial College London, in collaboration with Pieter de Tombe, created a new system to study heart tissue within a physiological environment.
They will present their work at the 63rd Biophysical Society Annual Meeting, to be held March 2 - 6, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland.
"The heart needs to generate force and shorten at the same time to squeeze blood out; this is not usually something you see in in vitro heart models," Terracciano said.
Using tiny pieces of heart tissue with preserved structure and function, they were able to recapitulate the sequence of mechanical events as found in the body. This was done by creating a custom bioreactor that allows the tissue to shorten in sync with electrical stimulation.
To see whether the heart tissue in their system behaved like it would inside the body, they added noradrenaline and changed the workload on the tissue to simulate normal conditions and disease. The team observed changes in force similar to those observed in hearts in vivo..
The new aspects of this system is that contraction parameters can be promptly adjusted using computer algorithms to mimic normal or disease conditions, for example to recreate the stiffer conditions of high blood pressure.
"If you have high blood pressure, you affect how the heart cells work. We can recreate this condition to understand what happens at the level of the tissue," Terracciano said.
Pitoulis added, "We now have a unique tool to study the mechanical and electrical properties of heart tissue, as well as long-term changes that happen at the molecular level within the context of healthy heart or disease."
The Biophysical Society, founded in 1958, is a professional, scientific Society established to encourage development and dissemination of knowledge in biophysics. Its 9,000 members are located throughout the U.S. and the world, where they teach and conduct research in colleges, universities, laboratories and government agencies. The Annual Meeting attracts over 6,000 attendees and features more than 900 posters and over 500 speakers. http://www.
Sean Winkler | EurekAlert!
To proliferate or not to proliferate
21.03.2019 | Max-Planck-Institut für molekulare Zellbiologie und Genetik
Discovery of a Primordial Metabolism in Microbes
21.03.2019 | Leibniz-Institut DSMZ-Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen GmbH
Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.
The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...
Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.
Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...
The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.
A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.
"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...
New research group at the University of Jena combines theory and experiment to demonstrate for the first time certain physical processes in a quantum vacuum
For most people, a vacuum is an empty space. Quantum physics, on the other hand, assumes that even in this lowest-energy state, particles and antiparticles...
11.03.2019 | Event News
01.03.2019 | Event News
28.02.2019 | Event News
21.03.2019 | Life Sciences
21.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy
21.03.2019 | HANNOVER MESSE