Several cardiovascular disease models for studying plaque rupture have been explored ranging from cell lines to animal models, whereby each one has contributed in different ways to pathology understanding, diagnostics and therapy. However, the scientific community is lacking a reliable animal model of human coronary plaque rupture. The model providing perhaps the highest degree of similarity to the human condition is the swine model that is known to exhibit serious disadvantages such as costly maintenance, time-consuming experiments, lasting several years and very low yield. Hence, we have developed a biomimetic artery modular platform where ex vivo human samples are exposed to an in vivo dynamic environment mimicking blood flow in order to get a rapid and reliable assessment of the intravascular diagnostic tool as well as to perform a multi-parametric screening with light. Our tool offers a unique environment to perform ex vivo dynamic studies such as dynamic biomarkers labelling tests, drug delivery, etc. The platform features computer-controlled experimental conditions and adjustable flow rates across the entire physiological range. Biological samples can be analyzed using traditional microscopy and assays or prepared for more advanced characterization after exposure in the test loop. Contrary to cell line models, the use of real artery samples provides a more comprehensive approach closer to human physiology. Interestingly, this approach allows remarkable time and resource savings compared to existent animal model of plaque vulnerability. Moreover, it offers higher flexibility on the biosample and mitigates related ethical issues.
Marina Brito, Pieter A. De Beule, Hugo Cortez, Marco Martins, Paulo P. Freitas, Patricia Jardim, and Victor Jimenez, "Advanced biomimetic platform for cardiovascular studies (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10471, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Applications of Light in Cardiology 2018, 104710U (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 28, 2018; Published: 14 March 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2288832.5751467319001.
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