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Top Story

Mechanics of a heartbeat are controlled by molecular strut in heart muscle cells

On top of the meaning and mystery that humans heap on the heart, it is first and foremost a muscle. And one that beats about once a second for a person’s entire life, with no rest. Given the heart's vital importance, it’s ironic researchers have only recently made direct observations of its subcellular parts in motion. Now, using new high-resolution microscopy, a team from the Perelman School of Medicine and the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania found that molecular struts called microtubules interact with the heart’s contractile machinery to provide mechanical resistance for the beating of the heart.

Visit Website | Image credit: The lab of Ben Prosser, Ph.D., Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania