After a year long project as part of the Murdock Scholars Program, Warner Pacific student and Biology major Kelsey Mattsen recently presented her research to the campus community.
Mattsen worked in the lab of Dr. David Sahn and Dr. Muhammed Ashraf at the Oregon Health and Science University's Heart Research Center. Her research involved image based evaluation of the mitral valve and left ventricle in fetal sheep subjected to Anemia using 4D echocardiography.
"Knowing that environmental conditions during development can permanently alter heart structure, we hypothesized that anemia would lead to increased enlargement of the mitral valve and the volume capacity of the left ventricle compared to normal growth in non-anemic animals," said Mattsen. "It was a lot of work, but I really appreciated the chance to perform hands on research at OHSU inside one the top labs in the country."
To monitor heart deveolpment, surgery was performed and a catheter was inserted to collect blood from the fetal hearts. Anemia was induced in one of the fetal twins by drawing blood on days 7-9. Changes in mitral valve size and left ventricle capacity were observed through the use of the non-gated 4D imaging process that makes it possible to to image the fetal sheep hearts in 3D without an ECG signal.
"Kelsey has been a fantastic student, and this presentation was the culmination of many hours in the lab," said Dr. Brad Tripp, Professor of Biology. "The Murdock Scholars program opens up a valuable avenue of study and students at Warner Pacific can really set themselves apart in their educational experience."
The program is funded by the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust in cooperation with the OHSU Heart Research Center.
More information about the WPC Murdock Scholars Program.