Welcome to the Rodent Advanced Surgical Models Core Lab (previously the Mouse Cardiovascular Models Core Lab)

Rodent Advanced Surgical Models Core Lab

This Core laboratory provides a variety of established and experiment-specific small animal surgical/microsurgical models for a broad range of research applications, with the primary function of meeting investigator needs.  The Core Director and Faculty Director together have extensive experience with mouse, rat, and other animal surgical and microsurgical models across many disciplines.  The Core focuses on murine models which have become a predominant tool for many research labs, though the combined expertise of the Core staff allows adaptations for applications in many other species, from invertebrates to primates.  The surgical services are flexible, from straightforward single-procedure surgeries (with return to PI labs for subsequent follow-up/analysis), to complete surgical/postoperative management and final analysis with humane euthanasia.  Approved IACUC protocols are in place for established models offered by the Core.

Categories of Core Offerings

Rodent Cardiovascular Models

LAD Ischemia/Reperfusion:  Ligation of the left anterior descending artery of the heart with release and reperfusion post-ischemia – both acute and survival surgery procedures offered, as models of myocardial infarction.

Renal Artery Stenosis (with laser Doppler flow measurement):  Surgical narrowing of the renal artery, as a model of systemic hypertension.

Aortic Banding:  Surgical narrowing of the aortic arch to induce left ventricular pressure-volume overload.

Echocardiography:  Ultrasound imaging of the heart in 2-D or 3-D.

Ventricular Pressure-Volume Measurement:  Direct measurement of cardiac left ventricle blood pressure and stroke volume (Scisense).

Invasive Blood Pressure Measurement:  Direct measurement of intra-arterial pressure(s) via Scisense catheter insertion.

Femoral/Carotid Artery (Wire) Injury:  Removal of endothelium and subendothelial injury to induce neointimal formation.

Hindlimb Ischemia (with laser Doppler flow measurement):  Ligation of the hindlimb artery to induce angiogenesis/collateralization.

Interpositional vascular grafting:  Placement of a vein, artery, or synthetic/bioengineered graft into the arterial or venous circulation (typically the aorta, carotid, or femoral artery in rodents), either in end-to-end or end-to-side anastomotic configurations, including arteriovenous shunt creation.


Transplantation Models

A variety of rodent heterotopic and orthotopic transplantation models are available, for which the Core lab has expertise for successful accomplishment.  These can be done as syngenic transplants (inbred, with no immunorejection) or allotransplants (with various strain-based immunologic barriers).

  • Heterotopic Heart Transplantation
  • Renal Transplantation
  • Liver Transplantation
  • Pancreatic Transplantation
  • Small Bowel Transplantation
  • Esophageal or Tracheal Transplantation
  • Uterine Horn Transplantation
  • Aortic (Vascular) Graft Transplantation
  • Free Composite Tissue Vascularized Transplantation (both standard and custom-designed models)

Thrombosis and Hemostasis

  • Large-Vessel Electrolytic Injury (with intravital fluorescence imaging and quantitative data analysis)
  • Large-Vessel Collagen Induction (with intravital fluorescence imaging and quantitative data analysis)
  • Large-Vessel Mechanical Injury  (with intravital fluorescence imaging and quantitative data analysis)
  • Microvessel Laser Injury (with intravital fluorescence imaging and quantitative data analysis)
  • Microvessel Ferric Chloride Injury
  • Carotid Artery Ferric Chloride Injury
  • Inferior Vena Cava Ligation (either total or partial ligation)
  • Saphenous Vein Laser Puncture Haemostasis Assay
  • Saphenous Vein Stab Puncture Haemostasis Assay
  • Tail Bleeding Assay
  • Tail/Microvessel Bleeding (with intravital fluorescence imaging)

Intravital fluorescence imaging is done standardly with two simultaneous fluorophores, one to document platelet development and the other as a fibrin label (anti-fibrin linked to a fluorophore).  Data are quantitated and normalized for each experimental run, for inter-animal comparisons.  Custom-labeled antibodies/molecules/cells can also be used with this imaging platform.

Cooley BC: In vivo fluorescence imaging of large-vessel thrombosis in mice. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol  31:1351-1356, 2011.


Custom-Designed Fluorescence Imaging Applications

The intravital fluorescence imaging system in the Advanced Surgery Core can be modified for a variety of purposes, to adapt to specific scientific applications as needed.  Some of the features include:

  • Up to 3 simultaneous fluorophores, using many different wavelengths for excitation/emission, from violet to near-infrared
  • Up to 100X magnification, at up to a resolution of 2X2 microns/pixel
  • Time-lapse video acquisition with subsequent video-clip development for presentations and publications
  • Quantitative capabilities (via video image analysis)


Miscellaneous Procedures

Several other surgical procedures are offered, through the expertise of the staff.  In addition, the Core staff is willing to work with PIs and the IACUC to develop new models for research-specific applications:

  • Intra-thymic injection
  • Spine fusion surgery
  • Vasovasostomy
  • Uterine horn anastomosis
  • Oopharectomy/Orchiectomy/Vasectomy
  • Cecal puncture sepsis model

·                    Other procedures by request and co-development with PI/Staff