The major tools available include: site directed mutagenesis, Western blot analysis, quantitative PCR analysis, yeast two-hybrid screening, immunostaining, and cell culture.
These include: three confocal microscopes, a UV laser system for flash photolysis of caged compounds, a TIRF microscope, five epifluorescence systems for use with intracellular fluorescent probes, two C-arm fluoroscopes, and one echo machine for measuring cardiac mechanics in intact hearts.
Cellular electrical techniques
The main systems include: twelve patch clamp systems for use with myocytes and cultured cells (used to record action potentials, whole cell membrane currents, unitary currents and gating currents), one microelectrode set-up for recording action potentials in papillary muscles, nine two-microelectrode rigs for voltage clamping oocytes, two dual voltage clamp systems for studying gap junctions, and three myocyte isolation systems.
Whole heart electrical techniques
These include: three optical mapping systems for simultaneous measurement of membrane potential and calcium in intact hearts, numerous multi-electrode arrays for recording extracellular electrical signals from the epicardium, endocardium and transmurally, several high speed data acquisition systems (up to 1024 simultaneous signals), and two mechanical phantom models of the human thorax with 1300 recording electrodes embedded in the model.
CVRTI has superb personnel and facilities to support the technical, computing, and administrative aspects of its research. They are arranged into three core groups.
This section is headed by an electrical engineer and includes a full-time professional machinist and technician. This facility provides support in design, construction, testing, modification and repair of a wide range of electronic and mechanical devices required for CVRTI research.
This section is headed by a PhD engineer and staffed by three full-time assistants. They support, upgrade, and repair all computers, printers and servers in the Institute. They are responsible for maintaining CVRTI's local area network, its connection to the Internet, and its storage/backup system. Personnel in this section also provide support with programming required for data acquisition, analysis, storage and display.
Three personnel in this section handle all financial and accounting matters at CVRTI. In addition, they provide assistance with the preparation of a wide range of reports, applications, correspondence, and manuscripts.