Cardiac surgery; Cardioplegic Solutions; Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular; Ischemic Preconditioning, Myocardial; Mitral Valve Insufficiency; Myocardial Infarction; Myocardial Ischemia; Myocardial Reperfusion
My main research focus is understanding myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) and the consequences of this clinically relevant phenomenon. I/R is not only responsibel for the majority of death in the developed world but also part of every operation in cardiac surgery. Understanding the underlying mechanisms can lead to possible clinically relevant therapeutic options such as the development of new cardioplegic solutions, new non-invasive protective techniques such as remote conditioning, etc. Additioanlly we have focused on the effects of pressure and volume overlaod in cardiac remodeling with particular interest on a matricellular protein- Tenascin C
Techniques, methods & infrastructure
Our experimental techniques include in vivo models of myocardial infarction in mouse, rat and pig both in acute and chronic state leading to volume overload and progressive heart failure. Similarly, a pressure overload model in mice (aortic transverse constriction) is available to study left ventricular hypertrophy and failure. In addition, a large animal model of functional and primary mitral valve insufficiancy is used to test and develop new interventional and surgical techniques. Our ex vivo models are an isolated heart and a myograph both used to describe cardiac and vascular function. Besides a broad spectrum of biochemical, cell biological, and imaging techniques are used. The latter include echo/ultrasound, PET-CT and MRI in collaboration with the preclinical imaging laboratory.