Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New insights into structure of heart muscle fibers

Date:
May 28, 2012
Source:
McGill University
Summary:
Scientists have discovered new insights into the structure of muscle tissue in the heart -- a finding that promises to contribute to the study of heart diseases and to the engineering of artificial heart tissue.

A study led by researchers from McGill University provides new insights into the structure of muscle tissue in the heart -- a finding that promises to contribute to the study of heart diseases and to the engineering of artificial heart tissue.

Related Articles


The research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), reveals that the muscle fibers in the heart wall are locally arranged in a special "minimal surface," the generalized helicoid. The results add a significant new dimension to our understanding of the structure and function of heart-wall muscle fiber since minimal surfaces arise in nature as optimal solutions to physical problems. (A more familiar example of a minimal surface is the film that forms when a wireframe is dipped in a solution of soap.)

Surgeons and anatomists have been examining the geometry of muscle fibers in the heart for decades, and have long known that muscle cells are aligned to form helices that wind around the ventricles. But these analyses have been confined largely to the level of individual fibers. Partly because of the limitations of traditional histology techniques, little work has been done on the more-complex geometry of groups of fibers.

Working with collaborators at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, and Yale University in the U.S., the McGill-led team used a combination of Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging (dMRI) and computer modeling to reveal the way that bundles of fibers bend together. The researchers examined images of the heart tissue of rats, humans and dogs -- and found the same pattern.

"You can think of it as analyzing a clump of hair instead of an individual hair strand," explains Professor Kaleem Siddiqi of McGill's School of Computer Science. "We've discovered that the clump bends and twists in the form of a particular minimal surface, the generalized helicoid -- and this is true across species. It's not particular to just one mammal. The implications of these findings are broad."

The knowledge could be used, for example, to provide a scaffold to guide the repair of heart-wall damage caused by heart attacks. While regeneration of muscle tissue is a major area in bioengineering, most developments in this field have involved skeletal muscle tissue -- such as that in arms and legs -- which is arranged in a different, more linear structure.

The first author of the study is Dr. Peter Savadjiev of Harvard Medical School, whose research on this problem began while he was a doctoral student of Prof. Siddiqi's at McGill. Other co-authors of the paper are Gustav J. Strijkers and Adrianus J. Bakermans of Eindhoven University, Emmanuel Piuze of McGill, and Steven W. Zucker of Yale University.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by McGill University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. P. Savadjiev, G. J. Strijkers, A. J. Bakermans, E. Piuze, S. W. Zucker, K. Siddiqi. Heart wall myofibers are arranged in minimal surfaces to optimize organ function. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2012; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1120785109

Cite This Page:

McGill University. "New insights into structure of heart muscle fibers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120528154945.htm>.
McGill University. (2012, May 28). New insights into structure of heart muscle fibers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120528154945.htm
McGill University. "New insights into structure of heart muscle fibers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120528154945.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins