CVRI Small Animal Core Facility


Core facilities have become a vital resource in today's research environment, particularly as federal research funding continue to decrease.  These  centralized resources give the scientific community access to instruments, technologies, and services.  The facility can contribute to your outstanding research in several ways: 

  • Provide customized model development to meet the needs of the individual researcher at a fraction of the cost of an initial equipment investment and maintenance 
  • Help researchers write internal IACUC and IRB protocols
  • Produce data efficiently and consistently  
  • Offer broad knowledge base in cardiovascular physiology and animal surgery 


CVRI has invested in TSE Stellar Telemetry equipment for mice and rats together with Biopac Software and Analysis.

The implantable technology allows for monitoring of multiple animals housed together, using the same receiver, and thus enabling group housing and the ability to monitor social interactions. To encourage new users, CVRI has invested in three, reusable implantable mouse probes and three, reusable implantable rat probes capable of measuring pressure, temperature, and activity.  

The facility's other equipment includes: 

  • Visualsonic Vevo 2100 with 4 probes for performing echocardiography in small animals
  • Sequoia Echocardiographic Machine for large animal echocardiography
  • Zeiss ophthalmic surgical/operative microscope OPMI 6-SDFC
  • Omano dissecting microscope with light source
  • Ventilators for rats and mice
  • Transonic PV Catheters for rats, mice, and rabbits
  • Stereotaxic apparatuses for brain cannulation/drug delivery
  • Intubation kits for small animals
  • Isoflurane anesthesia delivery systems
  • Drug infusion pumps
  • STARR Pulse Ox
  • Accuscan Treadmills
  • DSI Acquisition System & Implantable probes for Arterial Pressure or ECG monitoring in mice or rats
  • iWorx ECG monitoring system
  • Metabolic cages for
  • Surgical tools and sterilizers

Custom Acquisition & Analysis Services

We also can help with custom programming for physiological recording and data analysis.  Previous programming projects include:

  • Data acquisition program for cardiomyocyte force production (LabView)
  • Piezo motor control program for millisecond- and micrometer-scale length changes of cardiomyocytes (LabView)
  • Analysis program for cardiomyocyte force/pCa data (LabView)
  • Analysis and curve fitting program for measuring rate of cardiomyocyte force redevelopment (LabView)
  • Control program for a motorized perfusion system (LabView)
  • Control program for a gravity perfusion system (LabView) 
  • ImageJ plugin for measurement of sarcomere length (Java)
  • ImageJ plugins for automated image measurements and batch processing (ImageJ Macro Language, Java, Python)
  • Data file parsing scripts (Python)


Select Publications

1.  Abrol N, de Tombe PP, Robia SL. Acute Inotropic and Lusitropic Effects of Cardiomyopathic R9C Mutation of Phospholamban. The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2015;290(11):7130-7140. doi:10.1074/jbc.M114.630319.

2.  Pallikkuth S, Blackwell DJ, Hu Z, et al. Phosphorylated Phospholamban Stabilizes a Compact Conformation of the Cardiac Calcium-ATPase. Biophysical Journal. 2013;105(8):1812-1821. doi:10.1016/j.bpj.2013.08.045.

3.  Bidwell P, Blackwell DJ, Hou Z, Zima AV, Robia SL. Phospholamban Binds with Differential Affinity to Calcium Pump Conformers. The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2011;286(40):35044-35050. doi:10.1074/jbc.M111.266759.

4.  Kottam, A., J. Dubois, A. McElligott and K.K. Henderson. Novel Approach to Admittance to Volume Conversion for Ventricular Volume Measurement.  Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2011:2514-7, 2011

5.  Govindan S., A. McElligott, S. Muthusamy, N. Nair, D. Barefield, J.L. Martin, E. Gongora, K.D. Greis, P.K. Luther, S. Winegrad, K.K. Henderson, and S. Sadayappan. Cardiac myosin binding protein-C is a potential diagnostic biomarker for myocardial infarction.  J Mol Cell Cardiol. Jan; 52(1): 154-64, 2012.