Models of Heart Disease

The ultimate pre-clinical challenge for any newly developed therapy is testing in an animal model of ischemic heart disease. Thorough testing in animal models is indispensible before translating a therapy to the clinic. We use small rodents as screening systems with reasonably high throughput to study acute and chronic myocardial infarction. The most promising approaches are tested in large animal models to provide real world rigor in terms of scalability, delivery systems and assessment of outcomes. The ultimate success of cell or tissue construct implantation is measured as improvement of cardiac mechanical and electrical performance. We use echocardiography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and Millar catheter techniques to monitor physiologic parameters. In collaboration with other UW investigators we also study susceptibility to arrhythmias and mechanical performance of isolated hearts and tissue preparations.

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