Research

Research

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The Cardiovascular Research Institute Center has six major research focus areas. See the focus themed areas listed below along with the associated Baylor College of Medicine faculty.

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Research Cores

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Baylor College of Medicine operates over 20 Advanced Technology Core Laboratories. Several of these cores are particularly useful for the generation of models of cardiovascular disease or phenotyping thereof.

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Additional Imaging Services

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MRI images of mouse hearts.
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Additional imaging services are available through the Baylor/Texas Children's Small Animal Imaging Facility at Texas Children's Hospital and Mouse MRI Core at main Baylor College of Medicine. Investigators can use the high-throughput 7.0T Bruker PharmaScan MRI imaging system through the Mouse Phenotyping Core (see above), or if research projects require a higher field system, they may use the 9.4T Bruker Advance MRI imaging system in Dr. Pautler's lab.

Imaging paradigms [view images to the right] include T1 and T2 measurements, perfusion imaging, MEMRI Ca transport measurements, fat assessment, strain measurements, magnetization transfer contrast (MTC), and soon imaging of cardiac fibrosis using spectroscopy.

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Isolated Heart Physiology and Optical Mapping

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Image of a Harvard Apparatus IHSR working heart system
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The CVRI has developed a core for Isolated Heart Physiology and Optical Mapping. These services are still being developed in collaboration with Dr. Wehrens’ laboratory. The lab currently has a Harvard Apparatus IHSR working heart system [view image to the right] that allows for physiological perfusion and measurement of isolated rodent hearts. The system contains high fidelity pressure and flow probes, and an aortic flow module. The system includes a computer with data acquisition hardware and software to allow for data capture and analysis. The SciMedia high-speed cardiac mapping system is specifically designed for high speed imaging of fluorescence sensitive dyes in different animal models. It contains a MiCAM Ultima-L CMOS based imaging system (Brainvision Inc.) with dual high-speed camera/processors, and tandem lens fluorescent microscope with stereoscope objective with lenses optimized for voltage and calcium imaging. A fluorescent splitter allows for dual wavelength imaging or dual-staining with multiple probes such as voltage-sensitive dyes and calcium indicators.