The Animal Phenotyping Core is supporting the VPR investigators by providing state of the art physiological measurements in rats and larger animals to provide data sets for developing new computational models, and for testing hypotheses based on model predictions for computational model refinement. The core provides the VPR projects with access to faculty experts and staff with many years of experience in animal model cardiovascular research, and access to state of the art equipment and platforms for measuring cardiovascular function in animals and creating models of human disease. The main platforms for physiological testing include:
High resolution ultrasound imaging:
Visualsonics 2100 ultrasound machines equipped with linear array transducers and a 3D motorized imaging platform.
Data Science International Implantable transducers that monitor blood pressure, EKG, body temperature and activity 24/7 in conscious animals
Microsurgical animal models of cardiovascular disease:
Using microsurgical techniques, models of myocardial infarction, pressure overload, spontaneous hemorrhage and other models are created in rats for studying cardiac disease, cardiac remodeling and blood pressure control mechanisms. In addition microsurgically placed catheters can be used for high resolution pressure measurements, drug deliver or blood withdrawal, or pressure volume analysis of cardiac function.
A variety of non-invasive phenotyping platforms are available for testing physiological effects environmental changes to animals such as exercise, measuring blood pressure non-invasively, or monitoring behavior or performance of animals as a consequence of physiologic or genetic manipulation.
The Animal Phenotyping Core supporting the VPR is operated in partnership with the Physiology Phenotyping Core http://sitemaker.umich.edu/mippc/home. A long term goal of the core is to provide standardized and reproducible standard operating procedures (SOPS) that will allow the phenotyping approaches developed here to be shared with the broader computational biology community. These SOPs will be made available for public comment and feedback followed by posting on the VPR website.