Even though the mouse heart is two thousand times smaller and beats ten times faster than a human's heart, it might be the next important clue to help cure heart disease.
University of Leeds has opened a 6 million centre to better understand and study animals such as studying the house heart using non-invasive scanning techniques.
Professor Schneider, who recently moved to Leeds from the University of Oxford, said: “There are huge technical issues in using established imaging technology on such small animals.
“One area we want to look at is the time it takes to run a scan and to reduce that – but we also want to develop entirely new techniques, to be able to see molecular changes that might be taking place inside the animal’s heart.”
Professor Schneider said: “The aim of this research is to develop tools that will provide an insight into heart disease that can be fed back to the clinical environment. “Studying how animals like rats and mice function can give us a very valuable insight into how human organs operate, opening new ways to understand and treat heart disease and other disorders.”
Scientists have been using technologies normally found in major hospitals such as the MRI, and scaling them down for use with small animals. However, because the mouse heart is so small and beats ten times faster compared to a human’s heart, it is a challenge to accurately measure what is happening.
Currently a research team at the University of Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine is developing new ways of analyzing the data that comes from a more forward scanning process.
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