Overview

The Pediatric Animal Physiology Core is a centralized resource specializing in survival surgery for rats and mice as well as assistance for surgical procedures in other species. The core has dedicated space in the Pediatric building with equipment for two surgical sites including small animal ventilators, cauterizing equipment, temperature monitoring, isoflurane anesthesia systems and a dissection microscope with an integrated camera enabling pictures and videos of surgical procedures to enhance presentations and publications. The Core Director, Dr. Josh Maxwell, assists all investigators with development of IACUC protocols. Surgical services currently offered by the Core include pulmonary banding in rat and neonatal rabbit, aortic banding, myocardial infarction, 5/6th nephrectomy for chronic kidney disease, liver-ischemia reperfusion and ultrasound guided injection ideally suited for targeted drug or cell therapy delivery (for example, intramyocardial delivery of stem cells).

The Core also has available for use a Visualsonics Vevo 2100 High Frequency Ultrasound system that allows high resolution small animal ultrasound examinations for non-invasive measures of structure and function. In particular, comprehensive cardiac exams, characterization of liver and kidney blood flow, measures of arterial stiffness and imaging of tumor growth are some examples of available services.

The newly acquired Vevo LAZR add-on system for the Visualsonics incorporates photoacoustic imaging into high-resolution ultrasound allowing for anatomical, functional, and molecular imaging. Photoacoustic imaging is a new in vivo hybrid imaging modality that combines the sensitivity and contrast of optical imaging with the depth and resolution of ultrasound. When pulsed laser light illuminates tissue, the optical absorbers there (such as hemoglobin) undergo thermoelastic expansion, generating an acoustic pressure wave which is detected with an ultrasound transducer. The ultrasound imaging provides a high-resolution frame-of-reference for identifying anatomy, while the photoacoustic imaging enables functional measurements such as oxygen saturation, total hemoglobin and the microdistribution of biomarkers.

The Core Technical Director has been extensively trained in ultrasound techniques with many years’ experience thereby increasing reliability and reproducibility of imaging data. Studies can either be conducted in an assisted fashion or investigators can reserve the equipment and utilize their own laboratory personnel. 

Core description for use in NIH Facilities & Resources page:

The Pediatric Animal Physiology Core is a centralized resource specializing in survival surgery for rats and mice in addition to assistance with other USDA regulated animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs and piglets. The core director assists all investigators with development of IACUC protocols. Surgical services currently offered by the Core include pulmonary banding in rat and neonatal rabbit, aortic banding, myocardial infarction  5/6th nephrectomy for chronic kidney disease, liver-ischemia reperfusion and ultrasound guided injection ideally suited for targeted drug or cell therapy delivery. The Core also has available for use a Visualsonics Vevo 2100 High Frequency Ultrasound system that allows high resolution small animal ultrasound examinations for noninvasive measurement of in vivo structure and function. The Core Technical Director has been extensively trained in ultrasound techniques with many years’ experience thereby increasing reliability and reproducibility of imaging data. Studies can either be conducted in an assisted fashion or investigators can reserve the equipment and utilize their own laboratory personnel. 

The Animal Physiology Core is located in room 260 of the Emory-Children’s Center.  For scheduling, or training requests, please visit the Core's PPMS page, by clicking here.  Please note that all assisted services, must be scheduled by emaling Ming Shen directly.  

Director - Josh Maxwell, PhD

Technical Director - Ming Shen

Administrator - Kristen Herzegh, MPH

All Core users must register for a PPMS account in the Pediatric Animal Physiology Core.  To create an account, please click here.

If you are requesting assisted usasage for any of our services, please email Ming Shen directly to schedule your usage. Once users have been trained for unassisted usage, they may be given access to book the ultrasound equipment or surgical space online through PPMS.  

  • Animal Surgery: $47 per hour (self service) 
  • ​Animal Surgery: $75 per hour (assisted service) 
  • Surgical set-up/clean-up: $47 (Applies to all surgeries.  Charged once per day regardless of number of surgeries)
  • Ultrasound: $100 per hour (self service)  
  • Ultrasound: $144 per hour (assisted service) 
  • Analysis: $30 per hour (self service)
  • Analysis: $60 per hour (full service)

Pediatric researchers may be eligible for subsidized rates. Please contact Dr. Josh Maxwell to determine eligibility.  Rates effective 8/1/207

Click here to schedule your usage

  • Small animal ultrasound and surgical services include:
  • Right heart failure (pulmonary banding)
  • Left heart failure (aortic banding)
  • Myocardial infarction (coronary ligation)
  • Tail vein injections
  • Ultrasound guided injections (including intramyocardial)
  • Liver ischemia/reperfusion
  • Kidney failure (5/6 nephrectomy)
  • High resolution ultrasound and echocardiography
  • Myocardial and vascular deformation imaging by speckle tracking ultrasound (VevoStrain)
  • Development of new surgical and imaging techniques 

Equipment (Click here to schedule your usage)

  • Small animal ventilator
  • Cautery
  • Temperature monitoring
  • Anesthesia system
  • Dissecting microscope
  • Visualsonics Vevo 2100 High Frequency Ultrasound*

*Features of the Vevo 2100:

  • Two MicroScan transducers (MS250 and MS400) suitable for mouse, rat and small rabbit cardiology, large tumor imaging, and vascular imaging for mouse, rat and other small animals.
  • Each MicroScan transducer consists of a 256-element array and delivers a usable frame rate of 300-400 frames per second depending on the transducer type.
  • Each transducer can have up to three focus depths that can be adjusted to acquire the optimal image. All VisualSonics transducers can be used to acquire two modes to be viewed simultaneously.
  • Integrated isoflurane-based anesthesia system and heated platform allows for hands free imaging.
  • B-Mode and M-Mode Cardiac imaging modalities
  • B-mode (2D) image capture and analysis including cineloop image review, capture and display. Advanced measurements and annotations are available.
  • M-Mode imaging produces quantifiable images to characterize moving anatomy, such as a cardiac wall motion, by selecting a line of the B-Mode image and observing it over time. Sample volume size down to 50 microns.
  • PW Doppler Mode: For acquisition of blood flow veloscity and waveform measurements
  • Color Doppler Mode: Color Doppler uses PW Doppler Mode ultrasound to produce an image of directional flow in blood vessels. The system overlays colors on the image of the blood vessels to represent the speed and direction of blood flow through the vessels. Vascular flow moving toward the transducer is displayed in red hues. Vascular flow moving away from the transducer is displayed in blue hues. This mode allows quick detection of flow.
  • Contrast Imaging Functionality: Linear and Nonlinear acquisition and analysis tools using MicroMarkerTM Contrast Imaging. Allows quantification of relative perfusion. Biomarker quantification tools when using MicroMarker™ Target-Ready Contrast Agents.
  • VevoCQ™ Advanced Contrast Quantification Software – Postprocessing tool for perfusion and targeted signal analysis. Perfusion parameters (including amplitude and time) derived from a curve fitting algorithm for bolus kinetics and replenishment kinetics following destruction reperfusion. Spatial rendering is available in the form of parametric maps.

Vevo LAZR Photoacoustic Imaging Add-On:

  • ​Optical contrast for blood and molecular imaging
  • High-resolution at depth
  • Real-time Non-invasive
  • Anatomical, functional and molecular data

Citing the Animal Physiology Core - All users

The Animal Physiology Core is generously supported by Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University. When presenting or publishing work completed using the core, please include "Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University's Pediatric Animal Physiology Core " in the acknowledgments.

To determine if you should use “Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta” in your author affiliations, please see guidelines here.

If your project utilizes the core ultrasound services and equipment (including the Vevo LAZR system), please include the text below. Please do not use this for studies that do not utilize the ultrasound.

"This study was supported in part by the Animal Physiology Core, which is subsidized by Emory University and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.  Additional support was provided by the Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number S10OD021748. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily reflect the official views of the National Institutes of Health."