The laboratory of Cardiac Electrophysiology is located in the newly renovated animal research floor of the department in building 16, level 5. In addition, laboratories will be allocated to the group in building 12.5 after refurbishment in 2017.

Examples of our core techniques are:

Recordings of electrocardiograms (ECG) from anesthetized mice.

The surface ECG is central to cardiac electrophysiology. We record high-resolution 6-lead ECGs with minimal noise. Our laboratory is designed to reduce ambient electrical noise, including electrical shielding in the walls. The ECG gives us important information about the global (i.e., whole heart) electrophysiology.

For example, this technique has been used in this publication.

Intracardiac pacing to induce cardiac arrhythmias

Using a catheter with a diameter of 0.37 mm, it is possible to pace the heart from within. We pace the heart to control heart rate or to induce arrhythmias. We enter either the right atria and ventricle from the right external jugular vein or the left ventricle from the left common carotid artery. When the catheter is placed correctly, we can record local cardiac activity and pace the heart from the 8 electrodes at the tip of the catheter.

For example, this technique has been used in this publication.

Radiotelemetry recordings of ECGs from conscious mice

We surgically place small (1.1 g) radiotransitters subcutaneously in mice and after recovery, we can record a 1-lead ECG under conscious conditions. In our telemetry lab, the mice are placed in their home cage on receivers and the signal is recorded continuously. We often record for 5 days under controlled light/dark cycles and under video surveillance.

For example, this technique has been used in this publication.

Echocardiographic examination of cardiac structure and function

Advanced imaging of the beating heart inside the animal is a key physiological technique to assess both cardiac structure and pumping function. By using non-invasive ultrasound examinations, we can also describe structural and functional remodeling as a function of time
using the individual animal as its own control.

For example, this technique has been used in this publication.

Surgery to induce cardiac disease

To simulate disease, we surgically induce a pathology. Constriction of the transverse aorta is a useful method for inducing cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure. Coronary ligation or nephrectomy are other invasive techniques to trigger a pathophysiological progression.

For example, aortic constriction has been used in this publication.

Genetically modified animals

We use genetically modified mice to study the effects of a single protein on the intact cardiac electrophysiology. We have studied KChIP2 intensively over the years, but also KCNMA1 the leptin-receptor knockouts have been investigated.

For example, the cardiac effects of leptin-receptor knockout have been investigated in this publication.

Invasive blood pressure recordings

To understand the hemodynamic consequences of cardiac disease, we record blood pressure invasively, either in the carotid artery or in the left ventricle.

Isolated heart studies

Isolated heart preparations are useful to study the properties of the heart without the influence of the physiological feedback from the remaining organ systems, e.g., the vasculature or the autonomic nervous system.

We have a state-of-the-art setup for studying isolated mouse hearts using both the Langendorff principle and the working heart principle. We record ECG, coronary flow and pressure, monophasic action potential, afterload and preload, and ventricular pressure in this setup. Via programmed electrical pacing, we can control heart rate.

For example, this technique has been used in this publication.