CUP Undergraduate Research


Vitelline Artery Ligation as an Experimental Method for Manipulating Hemodynamics in the Early Embryonic Chick Heart

Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis


College of Theology, Arts, & Sciences


Math & Science

Degree Name

Biology, BA

First Advisor

Dr. Rici Halstrand


Every year, 25,000 babies are born with a congenital heart defect (CHD) (Hoffman & Kaplan, 2002). Congenital heart defects are the leading non-­‐infectious cause of death in children and infants. It has been shown in an animal model of development, that through banding the outflow tract (OFT) of a developing fetus, one can instigate the formation of a CHD. Outflow tract banding is a surgical method that effectively modifies the blood flow conditions in a developing heart through partially occluding the blood flow through the OFT. However, the use of this model does not entirely replicate conditions that could be readily observed in a developing fetus, as outflow tract banding both changes blood flow dynamics, and causes structural strain on the heart. We explored a new model of hemodynamic intervention called vitelline artery ligation (VAL) in hopes of developing a method for hemodynamic manipulation that is a better simulation of adverse conditions that could be seen naturally in a developing fetus. We found that while VAL successfully shunted blood flow from the right side of the embryo, examining cellular expression through PCR of four different marker genes in the heart showed no significant changes. We then explored possible explanations for this lack of change such as vascular remodeling in the vitelline bed, or improper sampling technique for PCR.

This document is currently not available here.