Reflections of Research 2014 is an annual competition, reflecting the groundbreaking research of the British Heart Foundation through images.
The image above, ‘The Clot Thickens’, by Fraser Macrae, BHF-funded researcher at the University of Leeds.
This image shows a blood clot in close detail. The thick grey mesh is the clot, capturing a mixture of different cells – seen in different colours. A BHF-funded researcher in the 1970s was the first to prove that clots can cause heart attacks.
BHF-funded scientists use scaffolds containing microscopic holes to grow healthy heart cells that could potentially be implanted into a patient’s damaged heart after a heart attack.
Using the same computer modelling programs that engineers use to design aircrafts, BHF-funded scientists can now precisely model the blood flow in our blood vessels. These models can be used to design better techniques for dialysis that limit the disruption to a patient’s natural blood flow.
This image shows the intricate network of newly-formed blood vessels in the retina of a mouse eye. Understanding how blood vessels grow is an important part of understanding cardiovascular disease.
The banding seen in this microscopic view of heart muscle cells is vital for the contraction of the muscle that is needed for the heart to beat. BHF-funded scientists can now make heart cells from stem cells and study how changes in this banding can lead to the heart not beating properly.
Seen under a powerful microscope, two individual blood vessel cells are shown here, coincidentally forming a heart-shape in between. Understanding blood vessels at a cellular level helps BHF-funded scientists learn about the fundamental processes that keep our blood flowing, and what happens when they go wrong.
This shows the blood vessels and lining of a developing mouse heart. At the top of the image, clusters of cells are starting to form blood vessels in the heart alongside a major artery – the aorta. BHF-funded scientists have shown that mice have the potential to repair their own hearts – now they want to encourage the human heart to do the same.‘No Smoke Without Fire’
Dr Neil Dufton
A BHF-funded researcher in the Endothelial Homeostasis Group, NHLI Vascular Sciences, Imperial College London
This picture is a blood vessel that doesn’t work properly and is leaking. The blood vessel is seen in red, with the leaks seen in grey. Maintaining healthy blood vessels is vital to prevent cardiovascular disease.