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Department of Pediatrics
600 Highland Ave - H6/5
Madison, WI 53792-4108
Our lab is interested in understanding the impact of metabolism and energy production on cardiac contractile performance in the immature heart. We are particularly focused on understanding how the transitioning perinatal heart responds energetically to the stress of congenital heart disease or other contractile abnormalities. Our current approaches employ a novel 3D culture model using late fetal or early neonatal rat cardiomyocytes from which we gather molecular, metabolic, and mechanical data. Our cultures can be grown under both mechanical and electrically active environments.
The lab is equipped with standard and high-throughput molecular tools as well as two physiology work stations. The first is equipped with a high speed length controller to dynamically mimic loading conditions and a force transducer integrated with an IonOptix system for measuring calcium transients. The second station is designed to measure oxygen consumption and metabolic activity while gathering simultaneous force data. With these tools we are able to define the metabolic phenotype in the immature myocardium and test conditions that provide improved energy production and utilization within the stressed immature heart.