This request is for funds to purchase a VisualSonics Vevo 3100 rodent ultrasound system. The objective of this proposal is to acquire this state-of-the-art high resolution advanced ultrasound imaging system to be shared by the multidisciplinary cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary investigators utilizing small animal experimental models at The University of Pittsburgh. An expansion of cardiovascular and pulmonary investigators from cardiology's Heart and Vascular Institute (HVI) merged with the Vascular Medicine Institute (VMI) has resulted in a high demand for imaging in a multitude of rodent experimental models. High-resolution ultrasound imaging has become the state-of-the-art for use in biomedical research, in particular for rodent models. The VisualSonics Vevo 3100 is the first and only commercially available high-frequency, high-resolution digital imaging platform with linear array technology capable of imaging live small animals. The ultra-high frequency axial and lateral resolution has an unprecedented 36x36 mm field of view. Furthermore, temporal resolution has dramatically increased to >500 Hz, of critical importance to imaging rodent hearts at 500-600 beats per min. This system has advanced new imaging functions including speckle tracking strain imaging, 3D imaging, ECG-gated image registration, and contrast imaging with harmonics. The system can assess whole organ scale functions to cellular level bioactivity. This system will be of enormous value to a wide spectrum of interdisciplinary research using rodent models. We have 13 independent PIs with active funding, 11 with NIH R01 equivalent support and 1 with AHA support. The participating PIs represent a wide array of disciplines in myocardial, vascular, cardiopulmonary biology and pulmonary hypertension. To promote cost effectiveness in maintenance and upgrades, optimize sharing, and foster a collaborative multidisciplinary environment, the system will be integrated into the VMI newly expanded laboratories, (now 15,800 sq. ft. of lab space). The Program Director, Kang Kim, PhD is an established innovator in advanced ultrasound technology and rodent ultrasound, and will take responsibility for the multiple facets of the instrument's use. An advisory committee has been formed with guidelines established for appropriate sharing among the users and by which new users can gain access to and training in the system. Our management scheme is designed for the optimal use of the system and maximum contribution to the listed projects and to continuously identify other NIH projects that will benefit from this system. The acquisition of the requested ultrasound animal imaging system will be of enormous value to not only to current NIH-funded projects across the University of Pittsburgh but also to the development of future NIH projects. In addition, echocardiography is a key focus of training and research the newly funded NIH T32 ?Imaging Sciences in Translational Cardiovascular Research?. The University of Pittsburgh's VMI and HVI are fully committed to the support of maintenance, personnel, space, and resources required for long-term use of the system.

Public Health Relevance

A large amount of discoveries in biomedical sciences has come from mouse and rat models of disease and treatment. Quantifying cardiac function in these rodent models has become an important scientific approach, and this Shared Instrument request is for an advanced, high resolution echocardiography system (VisualSonics Vevo 3100) The Vevo 3100 is capable of precisely measuring rodent cardiac function in these experiments with new quantitative ways, including tissue Doppler, speckle tracking strain, and three-dimensional imaging, previously not available. Advanced echocardiography in these experiments will improve our understanding of mechanisms of cardiovascular disease and discover new ways to help human health.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Office of The Director, National Institutes of Health (OD)
Biomedical Research Support Shared Instrumentation Grants (S10)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
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Klosek, Malgorzata
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University of Pittsburgh
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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