Resources & Equipment
The Cardiovascular Research & Training Institute draws on the resources and support of cutting-edge technical capabilities, computing, and a machine electronic shop. Our resources provide an ideal environment for researchers.
Through the generous financial support of Nora Eccles Harrison, Richard A. Harrison, and the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation CVRTI has expanded to its present three-building complex totaling 20,000 ft2, of which 9,808 ft2 is laboratory space. The facility includes experimental laboratories, an operating room, two conference rooms, an electronics/machine shop, computer core and offices.
Molecular Biology/Biochemistry/Cell Culture
The available tools include major equipment for standard recombinant DNA and biochemical techniques: shakers, incubators, multiple mini- and general centrifuges, nucleic acid and protein gel electrophoresis, PCR thermocyclers, quantitative PCR thermocycler, spectrophotometers/luminometers, multi-modal imager (e.g for chemiluminescent blots, fluorescent gels, etc.), and multi-modal plate reader. Cell culture equipment includes: multiple BSL-2/BSL-2e biosafety cabinets, CO2 incubators, -80oC and liquid nitrogen containers for long-term storage. Cell culture reagents include multiple commonly-used transformed cell lines, primary cultures (e.g. neonatal rat cardiomyocytes), human induced pluripotent stem cells (hIPSCs) and cardiomyocytes derived from hIPSCs. Viral reagents for cell culture and/or creation of hIPSCs include replication-deficient sendaivirus, lentivirus, adenovirus, and gamma-retrovirus.
CVRTI's LTQ-Orbitrap Velos Pro mass spectrometer is equipped with an ETD module, enabling three modes of fragmentation, and is interfaced with a Thermo EASY-nLC 1000 ultra high-pressure liquid chromatography and autosampler.
We use a Leica TCS-SP8 Confocal Laser Scanning Microscope to image cardiac tissue and single cells. Our other confocal microscope is a Zeiss LSM 510 Duo equipped with a 5 Live scan head and a UV laser for uncaging of H+ and Ca2+. In addition, we have a fiber-optics confocal microscope (Leica FCM 1000) with various imaging microprobes. We also have a C-arm fluoroscope and an echo machine for measuring cardiac mechanics in intact hearts.
Cellular Electrical Techniques
The main systems include: twelve patch clamp systems for use with myocytes and cultured cells (used to record action potentials, whole cell membrane currents, unitary currents and gating currents), one microelectrode set-up for recording action potentials in papillary muscles, nine two-microelectrode rigs for voltage clamping oocytes, two dual voltage clamp systems for studying gap junctions, and three myocyte isolation systems.
Whole Heart Electrical Techniques
These include: three optical mapping systems for simultaneous measurement of membrane potential and calcium in intact hearts, numerous multi-electrode arrays for recording extracellular electrical signals from the epicardium, endocardium and transmurally, several high speed data acquisition systems (up to 1024 simultaneous signals), and two mechanical phantom models of the human thorax with 1300 recording electrodes embedded in the model.
CVRTI has superb personnel and facilities to support the technical, computing, and administrative aspects of its research. They are arranged into three core groups.
This section is headed by an electrical engineer and includes a full-time professional machinist and technician. This facility provides support in design, construction, testing, modification and repair of a wide range of electronic and mechanical devices required for CVRTI research.
This section is headed by a PhD engineer and staffed by three full-time assistants. They support, upgrade, and repair all computers, printers and servers in the Institute. They are responsible for maintaining CVRTI's local area network, its connection to the Internet, and its storage/backup system. Personnel in this section also provide support with programming required for data acquisition, analysis, storage and display.
Three personnel in this section handle all financial and accounting matters at CVRTI. In addition, they provide assistance with the preparation of a wide range of reports, applications, correspondence, and manuscripts.
Our advanced equipment enables researchers to perform leading research in cardiac signaling.
Cellular Electrophysiology Laboratory
Example of two of 17 cellular electrophysiology setups at CVRTI equipped to use patch pipettes or microelectrodes to measure membrane currents (whole cell, unitary), gating currents and action potentials from cardiac myocytes or cell lines and oocytes with expressed channels.
Confocal Microscope Laboratory
We use a Leica TCS-SP8 Confocal Laser Scanning Microscope to image cardiac tissue and single cells. Our other confocal microscope is a Zeiss LSM 510 Duo equipped with a 5 Live scan head and a UV laser for uncaging of H+ and Ca2+.
CVRTI's LTQ-Orbitrap Velos Pro mass spectrometer is equipped with an ETD module, enabling three modes of fragmentation, and is interfaced with a Thermo EASY-nLC 1000 ultra high pressure liquid chromatography and autosampler.