Core D: Non-invasive Imaging Core: The purpose of this core is to provide state-of-the-art in vivo noninvasive imaging approaches for: (a) understanding the cardiovascular physiologic adaptations related to changes in maternal-fetal environment; and (b) to provide quantitative end-points that do not rely on animal sacrifice and, hence, can be used to temporally characterize changes in the maternal-fetal interface and fetal cardiovascular development and function. This core takes advantage of OHSU's strength in using noninvasive cardiovascular imaging for understanding vascular and ventricular physiology in the developing fetus. The core personnel will be composed of investigators who have pioneered the development of contrast ultrasound perfusion imaging and have applied these techniques to evaluate microvascular remodeling in health and disease and to understand flow-function relations. The imaging core lab for this project has been developed for the purpose of not only gaining unique information on cardiovascular function and microvascular flow that is not available by histology or ex vivo methods, but also to create a cost-efficient method for evaluating the impact of fetal environment in a large animal model without recourse to euthanasia. Utilization of the imaging core has been incorporated into each ofthe major projects, allowing for predictable allocation of core services. However, a strength of the non-invasive cardiovascular imaging research laboratory at OHSU has been the ability to adapt to the needs of collaborating users imaging technology in order to gain unique understanding of molecular phenotype and cell biology. It is anticipated that additional applications of imaging or new technologies will be developed according to the dynamic needs ofthe individual research programs. In addition, evaluation of cardiac function will be a service provided by the core so that each project will have an entire perfusion and functional evaluation. Each project will take advantage of the core. The core will apply the ever new technologies in the field as they become available to bring increasingly more power to the evaluation ofthe fetal heart and placenta in the stress models in the 3 projects.
The goal of this core is to leverage the strength of non-invasive imaging science at OHSU to complement the research programs of this proposal. Imaging of microvascular blood flow, capillary blood volume, and ventricular performance will allow temporal evaluation of cardiovascular development.
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