Infectious respiratory diseases are caused by pathogenic microorganisms that can affect the upper (e.g. common cold, sinusitis) and lower (e.g. bronchitis, pneumonia) airways in an acute or a chronic manner. Not only do respiratory infections produce symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, cough or excess mucus production, they may also exacerbate existing respiratory conditions including asthma or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), leading to airway hyperresponsiveness, airflow obstruction or alterations in gas exchanges. Lower respiratory tract infections (e.g. pneumonia) can result in hospitalization, respiratory failure, or manifestation of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). Further preclinical studies are required to investigate the pathophysiology of infectious diseases.
The flexiVent’s unique ability to measure central vs. peripheral airways resistance, combined with a delivered dose estimator and an automated dose-response feature permits unique and novel insights into inflammatory responses and evolution of lung function throughout the progression of infectious respiratory diseases.
As respiratory infection induces airway hyperresponsiveness and mucus hypersecretion, the flexiVent can be used to both deliver aerosol challenges to a subject’s lungs and follow the developing bronchoconstriction through automated data collection. The software calculates and displays an estimate of the dose delivered to the subject’s airway opening. Furthermore, detailed dose-response curves demonstrating airway hyperresponsiveness are computed and graphed in real-time. Learn what Dr. Davis, a researcher at the forefront of pulmonary viral infection research, has to say about working with the flexiVent.
The administration of drugs or novel therapeutic carriers through inhalation is a desirable route for many preclinical models of respiratory infection. The large surface area and high vascularization of the lung can provide a fast and effective delivery of substances either locally or systemically, via the blood. When considering inhalation as the route for drug delivery, the inExpose standardizes experimental conditions providing reproducible and relevant animal models. Integrated with the Aeroneb nebulizer, the inExpose provides sophisticated computer control which enables automated, precise, and repeatable aerosol exposure sessions to small laboratory animals. Furthermore, the inExpose offers small internal volumes, reducing exposure ramp-up times and minimizing the need for large quantities of material.
In preclinical disease models, the analysis of ventilatory patterns in conscious subjects could prove to be useful for continuous tracking of the progression of infectious respiratory diseases over time.
Plethysmography, as a non-invasive technique, offers a powerful means of rapidly screening subjects based on changes in ventilatory parameters (e.g. breathing frequency, tidal volume, peak inspiratory or expiratory flows) following respiratory infection. Additionally, enhanced pause (Penh) is an indicator of airway obstruction and morbidity, that quantifies changes in the shape of the breathing waveform. Events such as coughing and apneas can also be detected and monitored.
Dr. Ian Davis is a Principal Investigator and Professor at The Ohio State University. Research in the Davis lab is focused on the effects of influenza A infections on alveolar epithelial cell function in a mouse model of influenza induced ARDS. Learn more about his lab and research in this interview!
Dr. Oakes and Dr. Bellini research focuses on the pulmonary and cardiovascular consequences of inhaled cannabis. This group is at the forefront of preclinical respiratory research for cannabis. We were lucky enough to sit down with them and get their thoughts on the current state and future of cannabis-related cardiopulmonary research.
There has been much progress in identifying relevant in vitro and in vivo modelling for SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development and therapeutic intervention. Learn more about the current research, as preclinical infectious disease researchers delve into the advantages and disadvantages of various SARS-CoV-2 animal models.
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