Groups and research environments within the network that perform experimental research to understand physiology and pathophysiology of hearts and vessels.

If you would like your research group featured here, please contact Jacob Fog Bentzon.

Experimental Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery

In the experimental group in the research unit Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, we evaluate and investigate new methods of diagnostics, interventions, and monitoring predominantly in relation to cardiac surgery.

We focus on

  • investigations and development of artificial heart valves, extracorporeal circulation, and medical devices
  • biomechanical evaluations of artificial and healing tissues
  • hemodynamic relationships of the vasculature and heart valves and following heart valve replacement and repair.

We work in close collaboration with clinical and engineering experts, as well as industrial partners and other departments and professions.

Discover our research at www.ctvs.au.dk.

Key research methods

  • Experimental animals, especially pigs, for application of both commonly used and new methods.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging, echocardiography and other imaging modalities for heart morphology and evaluation of interventions.
  • Sonomicrometry for geometrical evaluation.
  • Hemodynamic measurements.

Contact Professor J. Michael Hasenkam, Post.Doc. Leila Louise Benhassen or PhD Student Johannes Høgfeldt Jedrzejczyk for more information.

Experimental Pathology of Atherosclerosis

Our research group focuses on the identification of molecules and mechanisms that can be targeted to alleviate advanced atherosclerosis. In particular, we try to uncover the role of smooth muscle cells (SMC) in plaque progression. During the development of atherosclerosis, SMCs located in the vessel wall shift from their normal contractile state to a number of alternative phenotypes. We interrogate the functions of these SMC subtypes in experimental atherosclerosis models and in vitro. 

Key techniques

  • Experimental models of atherosclerosis
  • Human atherosclerosis pathology
  • SMC in vitro assays

Contact Jacob Fog Bentzon for more information

Laboratory of Angiogenesis and Vascular Heterogeneity

Our research group is focusing on unraveling the molecular and cellular basis of the formation of blood vessels (angiogenesis) in health and disease, and in particular the role of vascular metabolism and vascular heterogeneity herein, with the ultimate goal to identify novel therapeutic pro- or anti-angiogenic strategies.

We focus on exploring the activities and roles of endothelial cells with a immuno-modulatory role (termed "IMECs") and to investigate whether targeting IMECs can offer opportunities for "alternative immunotherapy". Furthermore, we focus on exploring the opportunities to improve anti-angiogenesis therapies by studying endothelial cell metabolism, endothelial heterogeneity and, in particular, endothelial immunity.

Key research methods

  • Experimental in vitro and in vivo models of angiogenesis
  • EC-selective lipid nanoparticles (LNPs)
  • Single-cell multi-omics

Please contact Peter Carmeliet for more information

Perivascular Control of Tissue Perfusion

Blood supply is essential for proper tissue function. This is defined in a large extend by signaling to blood vessels from supplied cells in accordance to their metabolic demand. This signaling is essential for normal function of the brain i.e. neurovascular coupling, and well as in the heart. Many severe pathological conditions (stroke, heart attack etc.) are associated with dissociation in this perivascular signaling. Our research group is focusing on perivascular signaling pathways, especially in the heart and in the brain, aiming to assess their molecular background and changes in association under pathological conditions, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, neurological disorders.

Key Research Methods

  • Telemetry: blood pressure, ECG, biopotential, blood glucose
  • Laser Speckle Contrast imaging in anaesthetized and awake rodents
  • Brain slices to assess neurovascular coupling and intracellular Ca(2+) signaling
  • Langendorff heart preparation
  • Blood pressure, blood flow, cardiac output in rodents
  • Isolated artery myograph
  • Dynamic intracellular Ca(2+) imaging

Contact Vladimir Matchkov for more information

Renal Control of Blood Pressure

An area of our research explores the regulatory mechanisms for NaCl transport in the kidney and how dysfunction of various transport proteins results in volume expansion and contributes to the development of salt-sensitive hypertension. A particular focus is on understanding how dietary potassium intake alters blood pressure. We use a multidisciplinary approach and collaborate extensively with clinicians to translate our findings to humans.

Key Research Methods

  • Proteomics/transcriptomics/bioinformatics
  • Animal models of disease (including gene manipulation)
  • Physiological techniques including telemetric blood pressure analysis

Contact Prof. Robert A. Fenton for more information.