Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

Now in our 10th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Follow the Heart

High resolution analysis of microvessels in the developing heart

21 October 2020

Follow the Heart

The coronary arteries get all the acclaim when it comes supplying the heart with blood. But they branch out into a network of blood vessels that also do the work of supplying the heart with blood but don’t get so much of the limelight — they form the heart’s microvasculature. Researchers now investigate its importance in development using a new imaging and analysis toolset. They labelled heart muscle cells and microvasculature in developing quail hearts with different dyes. Using confocal fluorescent microscopy, they imaged these heart muscle cells and blood vessels (pictured) and analysed their orientations. Focusing on one of the heart’s lower chambers, they found the microvasculature followed the helical pattern of organisation of the heart muscle cells. This new approach may provide useful insights into the role of the heart's microvasculature in heart diseases, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, where developing heart cells are misaligned.

Written by Lux Fatimathas

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 www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.