Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Structural remodeling of the heart due to pathologies such as hypertension and myocardial infarction leads to the appearance of myofibroblasts, a phenotype largely absent in physiologic myocardium. While myofibroblasts are responsible for wound healing and structural repair of damaged myocardium, they are thought to have deleterious effects on electrical and mechanical properties of the heart. Understanding these effects is critical to developing effective treatments, and has motivated the development of a series of in vitro engineered heart tissues and cardiomyocyte-myofibroblast co-cultures whose mechanical and electrophysiological function can be deduced from video analysis. Electrophysiological properties are evident from changes in intensity of a fluorescent calcium assay, mechanical properties are evident from deformations apparent in the video, and both are used to study excitation-contraction coupling properties. This thesis contributes efficient mathematical tools for denoising and analyzing videos of contracting, vibrating, and flashing structures.
Guy Genin Dave Peters Robert Pless