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In JoVE (1)
Other Publications (5)
Articles by Dmitry A. Voronov in JoVE
Tracking Morphogenetic Tissue Deformations in the Early Chick Embryo
Benjamen A. Filas1, Victor D. Varner1, Dmitry A. Voronov1,2, Larry A. Taber1,3
1Department of Biomedical Engineering, Washington University, 2Institute for Information Transmission Problems, Russian Academy of Sciences, 3Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Washington University
This article describes surface labeling and ex ovo tissue culture in the early chick embryo. Techniques amenable to time-lapse bright field, fluorescence, and optical coherence tomography imaging are presented. Tracking surface labels with high spatiotemporal resolution enables kinematic quantities such as morphogenetic strains (deformations) to be calculated in both two and three dimensions.
Other articles by Dmitry A. Voronov on PubMed
Developmental Dynamics : an Official Publication of the American Association of Anatomists. Aug, 2002 | Pubmed ID: 12203733
The chick embryo is a popular experimental model used to study the mechanisms of cardiac looping. To facilitate oxygen transport, researchers typically culture the embryo on the surface of the medium. Such preparations, however, expose the embryo and the heart to surface tension that is not present in ovo. This study investigates the influence that surface and extraembryonic membrane tensions have on looping morphology. To eliminate surface tension, we developed a technique in which the embryo is cultured under a thin layer of fluid. To eliminate membrane tension, the membrane was removed. Our results show that both tensions can affect looping, with surface tension potentially having a much greater effect. Moreover, we show that surface tension can alter results in one classic looping experiment.
Developmental Biology. Aug, 2004 | Pubmed ID: 15282152
Cardiac looping is a vital morphogenetic process that transforms the initially straight heart tube into a curved tube normally directed toward the right side of the embryo. While recent work has brought major advances in our understanding of the genetic and molecular pathways involved in looping, the biophysical mechanisms that drive this process have remained poorly understood. This paper examines the role of biomechanical forces in cardiac rotation during the initial stages of looping, when the heart bends and rotates into a c-shaped tube (c-looping). Embryonic chick hearts were subjected to mechanical and chemical perturbations, and tissue stress and strain were studied using dissection and fluorescent labeling, respectively. The results suggest that (1) the heart contains little or no intrinsic ability to rotate, as external forces exerted by the splanchnopleure (SPL) and the omphalomesenteric veins (OVs) drive rotation; (2) unbalanced forces in the omphalomesenteric veins play a role in left-right looping directionality; and (3) in addition to ventral bending and rightward rotation, the heart tube also bends slightly toward the right. The results of this study may help investigators searching for the link between gene expression and the mechanical processes that drive looping.
Journal of Biomechanical Engineering. Dec, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 19045547
Looping is a crucial early phase during heart development, as the initially straight heart tube (HT) deforms into a curved tube to lay out the basic plan of the mature heart. This paper focuses on the first phase of looping, called c-looping, when the HT bends ventrally and twists dextrally (rightward) to create a c-shaped tube. Previous research has shown that bending is an intrinsic process, while dextral torsion is likely caused by external forces acting on the heart. However, the specific mechanisms that drive and regulate looping are not yet completely understood. Here, we present new experimental data and finite element models to help define these mechanisms for the torsional component of c-looping. First, with regions of growth and contraction specified according to experiments on chick embryos, a three-dimensional model exhibits morphogenetic deformation consistent with observations for normal looping. Next, the model is tested further using experiments in which looping is perturbed by removing structures that exert forces on the heart--a membrane (splanchnopleure (SPL)) that presses against the ventral surface of the heart and the left and right primitive atria. In all cases, the model predicts the correct qualitative behavior. Finally, a two-dimensional model of the HT cross section is used to study a feedback mechanism for stress-based regulation of looping. The model is tested using experiments in which the SPL is removed before, during, and after c-looping. In each simulation, the model predicts the correct response. Hence, these models provide new insight into the mechanical mechanisms that drive and regulate cardiac looping.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Feb, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20201892
During early development, the initially straight heart tube (HT) bends and twists (loops) into a curved tube to lay out the basic plan of the mature heart. The physical mechanisms that drive and regulate looping are not yet completely understood. This paper reviews our recent studies of the mechanics of cardiac torsion during the first phase of looping (c-looping). Experiments and computational modeling show that torsion is primarily caused by forces exerted on the HT by the primitive atria and the splanchnopleure, a membrane that presses against the ventral surface of the heart. Experimental and numerical results are described and integrated to propose a hypothesis for cardiac torsion, and key aspects of our hypothesis are tested using experiments that perturb normal looping. For each perturbation, the models predict the correct qualitative response. These studies provide new insight into the mechanisms that drive and regulate cardiac looping.
Development (Cambridge, England). Nov, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20929950
During its earliest stages, the avian embryo is approximately planar. Through a complex series of folds, this flat geometry is transformed into the intricate three-dimensional structure of the developing organism. Formation of the head fold (HF) is the first step in this cascading sequence of out-of-plane tissue folds. The HF establishes the anterior extent of the embryo and initiates heart, foregut and brain development. Here, we use a combination of computational modeling and experiments to determine the physical forces that drive HF formation. Using chick embryos cultured ex ovo, we measured: (1) changes in tissue morphology in living embryos using optical coherence tomography (OCT); (2) morphogenetic strains (deformations) through the tracking of tissue labels; and (3) regional tissue stresses using changes in the geometry of circular wounds punched through the blastoderm. To determine the physical mechanisms that generate the HF, we created a three-dimensional computational model of the early embryo, consisting of pseudoelastic plates representing the blastoderm and vitelline membrane. Based on previous experimental findings, we simulated the following morphogenetic mechanisms: (1) convergent extension in the neural plate (NP); (2) cell wedging along the anterior NP border; and (3) autonomous in-plane deformations outside the NP. Our numerical predictions agree relatively well with the observed morphology, as well as with our measured stress and strain distributions. The model also predicts the abnormal tissue geometries produced when development is mechanically perturbed. Taken together, the results suggest that the proposed morphogenetic mechanisms provide the main tissue-level forces that drive HF formation.