This proposal requests funds for the acquisition of a state-of-the-art Vevo2100 high-resolution ultrasound imaging system (Visual Sonics). This system would be integrated into and managed by the Small Animal Hemodynamic (SAH) Core facility within the Division of Cardiology/Department of Medicine at the University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus (AMC). Due to the highly advanced technology of the Vevo2100, this system would significantly expand the current capabilities of the SAH Core and would enhance on-going, system-wide collaborations at the University of Colorado. A major focus of research in the Division of Cardiology is on translating findings made in pre-clinical models into novel therapeutics for the treatment of heart failure in humans. In addition, we collaborate closely with research groups in the Divisions of Renal Disease and Pulmonology to understand the role of heart: kidney and heart: lung cross-talk in the pathogenesis of cardiorenal disease and pulmonary vascular/right ventricular remodeling. More recently, we have initiated collaborations focused on tumor metastasis, biomarker discovery and contrast imaging in rodent models (see Figure). All of these efforts would benefit from the acquisition of a Vevo2100, which would enable non-invasive, longitudinal measurements of cardiac structure and function, renal and pulmonary blood flow and tumor formation in rodent models. In addition, this high-definition ultrasound system would provide an invaluable tool for monitoring localized delivery of cells and therapeutic agents via intra-cardiac or portal vein injection. The Vevo2100, which has many features in common of clinical instruments, would have a tremendous impact on NIH-funded research at the University of Colorado, and has the potential to facilitate translation of basic science discoveries into novel treatments for human disease. In addition to the aforementioned collaborations, through fee-for-service arrangements, the SAH Core serves a diverse group of investigators, not only on the AMC campus, which has two separate animal facilities, but also in the Colorado Children's Hospital and University of Colorado Boulder. For all of these studies we employ a single Vevo770 instrument (VisualSonics), which is located in a pathogen- free animal facility in Research Center II (RCII). We frequently receive requests for ultrasound assistance from investigators who house animals in other buildings or off-campus. Since these investigators are not allowed to transfer animals into the RCII facility, we attempt to accommodate them by moving the Vevo770 to an SAH Core- dedicated room within the Division of Cardiology. Unfortunately, this room is not pathogen-free, and thus movement of the instrument back to the animal facility requires extensive decontamination, resulting in at least one week of ultrasound down- time. With the acquisition of a Vevo2100, we would be able to dedicate the Vevo770 instrument to experiments for investigators who house animals in other buildings. Thus, in addition to the technological advances of the Vevo2100 that will enhance our work, having a second ultrasound instrument will enable us to meet the increasing demands for echocardiography from scientists throughout the greater Denver metropolitan area.
We are requesting funds to purchase a Vevo2100 ultrasound system for small animal imaging. This state-of the-art system would enable us to obtain highly accurate measures of cardiac, renal and pulmonary function, and would aid in oncology research, biomarker discovery and contrast imaging. This would be the only Vevo2100 instrument in the University of Colorado system and would enhance NIH funded research across the Denver metropolitan area.