We are interested in studying the development of the heart and how disruption of this process can lead to congenital heart disease. In particular we are interested in examining how blood flow through the heart acts as a signal to regulate gene expression and the shape of the heart. Using the advantages of the zebrafish for in vivo imaging we have developed methods to allow us to quantify blood flow within the embryonic heart and from these measurements we are able to determine the force blood flow exerts on the inner wall of the developing heart. Our current work focuses on the identification of flow responsive genes and determining their role in heart development and disease.

You can read our recent article describing our approach to accurately measure the velocity of blood in the embryonic heart here.

3D rendering of adult zebrafish heart
3D rendering of an adult zebrafish heart

A/Prof Andreas Fouras in the Division of Biological Engineering, Monash University
Professor Nadia Rosenthal at the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute, Monash University