Epicardial strains in embryonic chick ventricle at stages 16 through 24.
Embryonic cardiac development depends, in part, on the local biomechanical environment. Tracking the motions of microspheres attached to the embryonic chick ventricle, we computed two-dimensional epicardial strains at Hamburger-Hamilton stages 16, 18, 21, and 24 (2.5, 3.5, 4.0, and 4.5 days, respectively, of a 21-day incubation period). First, in a cross-sectional study, strains were measured in separate embryos at each stage (n > or = 19 per stage). Then, in a longitudinal study, strains were measured serially on the same heart, with the eggs resealed and reincubated between successive stages (n > or = 4 per stage). Although the heart undergoes major changes in mass, morphology, and loading during the studied stages, both studies showed that peak circumferential and longitudinal strains relative to end diastole were similar in magnitude (0.13 to 0.16) and did not change significantly across the stage range. The peak principal strains also showed no significant changes, with magnitudes of approximately 0.11 and 0.18. The shear strains were small, and their signs varied from one heart to another. These results suggest that wall strain is maintained within a relatively narrow range during primary cardiac morphogenesis.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association