Journal of Biomedical Optics • Open AccessOptical coherence tomography provides an ability to assess mechanical property of cardiac wall of developing outflow tract in embryonic heart in vivo
Knowledge of the biomechanical/elastic property of the cardiac wall is of fundamental importance in improving our understanding of cardiac development, particularly the interaction between the wall dynamics and hemodynamics in the developing outflow tract (OFT). We describe a method that employs optical coherence tomography (OCT) as a means to noninvasively measure the local elastic property of the cardiac wall in vivo. The method uses a time-lapse sequence of OCT images that represent the dynamic behavior of the OFT longitudinal section to calculate the regional wall pulse wave velocity (PWV), upon which the Young's modulus of the cardiac wall is deduced by the use of the Moens-Korteweg equation. The experimental results show that the foot-to-foot PWV ranges from 3.2 to 6.6 mm/s with a mean of 4.7 mm/s, and the averaged Young's modulus is 0.36 Pa, both of which are comparable to the documented values of stage HH17 atrioventricular canal tissue. The proposed method that provides the quantitative mechanical assessment may play a significant role in the understanding of the cardiac development.