Describe your undergraduate research or creative project:
Heart valves are composed of three main constituents: collagen, elastin, and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). While collagen and elastin contribute mostly to the biomechanical properties of heart valves, the biomechanical role of the GAGs in the atrioventricular valves is a topic that is very underrepresented. The goal of this research project is to determine whether GAGs influence the biomechanical properties of the heart valves. To accomplish this, we will need to acquire tissue from each leaflet of each valve. This includes the anterior and posterior leaflet from the mitral valve (left atrioventricular valve) and the anterior, posterior, and septal leaflet from the tricuspid valve (right atrioventricular valve). Porcine (pig) hearts will be the hearts of choice for this project.
Awards and/or presentations:
Richardson, Jacob. "The Essential Role of Glycosaminoglycans in the Biomechanics of Heart Valve Leaflets." Curiosity to Creativity Spring Symposium, 25 April 2018, Oklahoma Memorial Union, Norman, OK