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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Replacement of an Obsolete High Frequency Ultrasound Machine Used for Small Animal Imaging


The Mission of the Cardiovascular Research Center‘s Model Organisms Research Core (MOR Core) is to provide a central resource of equipment, personnel and skills that allows investigators to create and analyze animal models of disease as well as test therapies, devices and research ideas. The core provides the University of Wisconsin and non-UW researchers with a means for creating and studying animal models of disease on a fee-for-service basis. In addition, the core runs a very popular microsurgery course which attracts participants from all over the world.

While the primary focus of the facility is cardiovascular research, the techniques employed are often useful to investigators in other fields. Currently, the facility is conducting studies in cancer, bladder/prostate disease, drug toxicology, and gene/RNAi therapy in liver and skeletal muscle in addition to cardiovascular disease. One of the most popular services provided by the facility is evaluation of the cardiovascular phenotype of transgenic mice.

This project allows replacement of an aging and obsolete VisualSonics Vevo 770 ultrasound system with an updated VisualSonics Vevo 3100 ultrasound system.  The high definition feature on the Vevo 3100 allows for better definition of organ and tissue edges creating more accurate measurements of diameters, sizes and thicknesses. Enhanced imaging features of the Vevo 3100 also will eradicate the need to perform surgery on the animal, permitting a survival procedure. This will result in an overall cost savings as fewer animals will be needed. Furthermore, this allows researchers to track the disease course and treatments over time in the same animal.


Hector Valdivia, professor of cardiovascular medicine and director of the UW Cardiovascular Research Center


Timothy Hacker, director of the Cardiovascular Physiology Core


Allison Rodgers, associate researcher at the Cardiovascular Research Center


Cardiovascular Research Center‘s Model Organisms Research Core (MOR Core)