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Animal models

Research on aortic valve stenosis and aortic aneurysms requires complex animal models. The development of an aortic valve stenosis or aortic aneurysm in mice can be induced by specialised diets, infusion of vasoactive drugs, or, in many cases, by microsurgical techniques that require skill, training, and frequent execution. To obtain reliable results a vigorous quality control must be established while managing a ready supply of animals for studies within the consortium. The essential phenotyping of these disease models mandates involved imaging platforms such as high-resolution echocardiography and MRI. All projects of the consortium will need these models with optimal quality and in large quantities. Therefore, a central unit that operates under strictly standardized operating procedures will be established, which will also serve as a training and quality assurance laboratory (or core facility) for the decentralized animal facilities at all three research sites. In addition, transfer of additional novel experimental models and techniques established during the funding period will be validated and standardized at the core facility and disseminated to each of the other sites and projects as needed.

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