1. High-resolution in vivo imaging of the cross-sectional deformations of contracting embryonic heart loops using optical coherence tomography

    The embryonic heart tube consists of an outer myocardial tube, a middle layer of cardiac jelly, and an inner endocardial tube. It is said that tubular hearts pump the blood by peristaltoid contractions. The traditional concept of cardiac peristalsis sees the cyclic deformations of pulsating heart tubes as concentric narrowing and widening of tubes of circular cross-section. We have visualized the cross-sectional deformations of contracting embryonic hearts in chick embryos (HH-stages 9-17) using real-time high-resolution optical coherence tomography. Cardiac contractions are detected from HH-stage 10 onward. During the cardiac cycle, the myocardial tube undergoes concentric narrowing and widening while the ...
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