Study Suggests Mechanical Forces Drive Early Heart Development
Posted: Tuesday, October 9, 2001
Source: Washington University In St. Louis (http://www.wustl.edu/)
The poet in us might see the heart as "a lonely hunter"; the adolescent as a toy that’s easily broken. But the biomedical engineer sees the heart as a pump, plain and simple, a machine shaped by genetics and complex biomechanical forces.
Larry A. Taber, Ph.D., professor of biomedical engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, has been probing the forces, stresses and deformations of the heart since the mid-1980s. A major focus of his work is to show that biomechanical forces may be as important as genetics in shaping the heart. Recently, he has developed a theory on tissue growth and morphogenesis (shape change) and applied it to understanding the developing heart in chicken embryos, which is remarkably similar to its counterpart in humans. MORE