2020 Small World in Motion Competition

Endocardium, cells lining the heart chambers, in a beating heart of a living, 2 day old zebrafish (Danio rerio)

Anjalie Schlaeppi

Morgridge Institute for Research
Department of Medical Engineering
Madison, Wisconsin, USA

Selective Plane Illumination Microscopy (SPIM)

16X (Objective Lens Magnification)

Anjalie Schlaeppi is a biologist working on early development of the zebrafish heart, specifically to better understand how the early embryonic heart pumps blood before valves have developed in the organ. This in vivo (in a live organism) movie was taken on a custom-built light sheet microscope using simultaneous 2-color acquisition. This rarely seen phenomena clearly shows the endocardium (the thin membrane that lines the inside of heart valves) repetitively contracting, effectively creating the pumping action before the valves have developed.