Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Dr. Entcheva’s lab studies cardiac cell function by integrating experimental and theoretical components. We use in vitro primary cell culture system, nano- and microfabricated scaffolds, we develop and apply state-of-the-art fast optical mapping techniques for imaging cardiac electromechanics and structure, and develop, validate and apply image-processing algorithms and biophysically realistic computational models. The goals are to establish the conditions promoting mature cardiac organogenesis and self-organized electrical and mechanical activity in engineered cardiac tissue. The functional characterization of the engineered tissue constructs and direct testing and validation of computational models of cardiac cell function make this work especially valuable in outlining basic cellular responses for tissue engineering and tissue repair efforts. Another important result of our work is the establishment of a comprehensive model for studies of electrically or mechanically-triggered arrhythmogenesis and ways to prevent, modulate or terminate the undesired electrical abnormalities in the heart.