Congenital heart defects are present in 4 to 50 per 1000 live births[1]. Most of these defects begin within the first few weeks post fertilization. Ample evidence exists which shows that mechanical epigenetic factors, such as pressure and shear stress, play key roles in heart development [2–3]. It has been shown in-vitro that cardiomyocytes are able to sense and respond to the presence of pulsatile flow[4], and that shear stress can activate genetic pathways which might ultimately dictate the morphological development of the cardiac tissue[5]. When blood flow characteristics have been changed experimentally, embryonic hearts consistently develop serious malformations. In order to understand mechanical epigenetic factors and their role in heart development, it is critical to contrive techniques for quantitatively measuring the biomechanics of the embryonic heart.

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