Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

Now in our 9th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Flow Motion
15 November 2017

Flow Motion

One way to tackle genetic problems in human hearts is watching how the organ first develops. Taking a different tack, researchers use these zebrafish hearts to investigate how changes in trabeculae, ridges and grooves in the heart’s ventricles, affect the heartbeat – using methods too dangerous for human study. A highly-detailed technique called light-sheet microscopy scans a zebrafish ventricle as it fills with blood and contracts (moving down the row on the left). A specially made computer program detects stresses in the heart muscle wall, ranging from low (blue) to high (red), using this information to build 3D simulations of blood flow, or haemodynamics. Comparing the healthy heart to hearts treated with drugs that affect trabeculae (middle columns), or a genetic fault which affects heart development (right) may yield important clues to trabeculae-associated human diseases like noncompaction cardiomyopathy.

Written by John Ankers

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

What is BPoD?

BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

Read More

BPoD is also available in Catalan at with translations by the University of Valencia.