The perfusion myograph system is used to cannulate and pressurise small cylindrical vessels to study the structure and function of isolated sections of tissue (diameter >100 μm) under near-physiological conditions.
Changes in vessel diameters, pressure or permeability can be measured in response to pharmacological and physiological stimuli. The optics allow the outer and inner diameter and also the wall thickness of the vessel to be measured simultaneously and charted continuously whilst the fluid handling system tracks the internal vessel pressure and fluid flow rate. The addition of albumin bound dyes allows the permeability of the vessel to be monitored.
Impairments in the regulatory machinery that controls vasodilatation and vasoconstriction correlates strongly with the onset and progression of many disease pathologies. Arterial diameter and intraluminal flow provide important physiological measurements offering key insights into the processes that influence vascular health.
An advantage of pressure myography is that the internal and external fluid spaces are separate and therefore drug delivery can be targeted to the relevant side of the tissue. Physiologically most drugs would be delivered via the blood to the intraluminal side of blood vessels and this can be mimicked using the pressure system. The system also allows the effects of pharmacological stimuli on important factors such as flow induced dilatation to be measured. Increases in intraluminal flow rate leads to a vessel induced relaxation to prevent increases in blood pressure. Drugs which inhibit this relaxation response could potential cause an increase in blood pressure.
As the pressure myograph is very low throughput, typical experiments usually involve paired observations in the presence and absence of a test compound. Although this limits the number of conditions that can be studied the data that is generated can be invaluable for investigating drug-mediated effects on physiological tissue parameters.
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