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The cellular basis of cardiac development and regeneration revealed by live imaging

Heart pumping and shaping take place concomitantly during embryonic development. These two processes require a tight coordination between mechanical forces and tissue morphogenesis. In the adult, a cardiac disease or myocardial infarction can, sometimes very abruptly, alter cardiac contractility and cell composition. We aim to reach a comprehensive description of the organizational properties of different cardiac cell types during development and regeneration in a contracting organ such as the heart, based on a quantitative analysis of the biological and physical parameters operating at key steps of cardiogenesis. Our multidisciplinary approach will require expertise in biology, biomechanics, optics, and signal processing. We propose to develop high-resolution time-lapse imaging and optical approaches to collect the molecular, cellular and tissue dynamics underlying valve and epicardium development as well as adult heart regeneration.