Date of Award
Bachelor of Science
heart, defects, genetics, congenital disease, embryo
Congenital heart disease is the number one cause of birth defects in the United States, affecting approximately 40,000 newborns each year. Research has shown that serious structural defects of the heart can occur due to abnormal looping. Looping refers to the positional and morphological changes of the early embryo heart and is divided into different phases. Although progress has been made in identifying the genetic processes behind heart looping, the forces involved with the developmental process are still not fully understood. In this research, the chicken embryo heart was used as the experimental model and certain material properties were characterized. The Atomic Force Microscope was used to measure tissue stiffness at various locations of the heart tube. These measurements can be used to test for the presence of cytoskeletal contraction and to develop a computer model for the looping heart.
Burnett, Kyra, "Studying the Material Properties of the Embryonic Chicken Heart" (2013). Honors Theses and Student Projects. 637.