The outflow tract (OFT) of the chick embryonic heart offers a good model system to study the association between blood flow dynamics and cardiac morphogenesis in early heart development. At early stages, the chick heart is a looped tube without valves. The OFT, the distal region of the heart, functions as a primitive valve [1]. The OFT is a slightly curved tube with three-layered wall (Fig. 1 (A) and (B)): the myocardium, an external muscle layer that actively contracts; the endocardium, an inner endothelial layer that directly contacts blood; in between the cardiac jelly, an extracellular matrix layer. The OFT undergoes complex morphogenesis, eventually leading to the development of semilunar valves, and this morphogenesis is sensitive to blood flow dynamics.

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