Thursday, December 8, 2016

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM EMKA & SCIREQ!




HOLIDAY OFFICE HOURS


emka TECHNOLOGIES S.A.S. (Paris, France)
Closed from Monday, December 26th to Friday, December 30th.


emka TECHNOLOGIES Inc. (Falls Church, VA, U.S.A.)
Closed on Monday, December 26th to Monday, January 2nd only. Open all other days.


SCIREQ Scientific Respiratory Equipment Inc. (Montreal, QC, Canada)
Closed from Monday, December 26th to Monday, January 2nd.


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Lung Function in Conscious Subjects

Conscious measurements allow researchers to quantify effects of diseases or therapeutic interventions on the drive to breathe, also referred to as “Pumping apparatus” 1. The breathing drive involves different components that regulate respiration including respiratory muscles, the central nervous system, and chemo/mechano-receptors. Outcomes such as tidal volume, respiratory rate, minute volume, inspiratory, expiratory, and apneic periods are particularly useful in safety pharmacology studies, and research into sleep and neuromuscular diseases. Whole body plethysmography (WBP) is the simplest and least invasive approach that permits conscious in vivo measurements. However, researchers must consider the inherent limitations of WBP2 in regards to the accuracy of breathing volumes and assessment of airway hyperresponsiveness. Other techniques such as head-out plethysmography (HOP) or double chamber plethysmography (DCP) are often useful in providing a more accurate and validated assessment of the lung function.  

EF50 – a valid indicator of airway response

In difference to WBP, where the subject is freely moving within a chamber, HOP/DCP measurements are acquired in restrained subjects, allowing true inspiratory and expiratory flow measurements and their corresponding parameters. One such outcome, the tidal mid-expiratory flow (EF50), is particularly interesting as it has been described and validated over the last 20 years as an index of flow limitation and airway obstruction.  The parameter is calculated on a breath-by-breath basis during spontaneous tidal breathing and typically decreases in presence of airflow obstruction.

Other Applications


EF50 is often used in respiratory safety pharmacology studies performed under the ICH 7AS guidelines, where the HOP technique is a standard for conscious lung function assessment.  However, the parameter can also be obtained with DCP, allowing for exposure to nebulized substances and/or the ability to record nasal and thoracic flows separately.  Using this approach, EF50 can also be used to describe airway responsiveness changes to broncho-active substances in conscious mice, either na├»ve or allergic. 

Since EF50 does not provide a direct measurements of resistance, it is generally accepted that any change in this parameter would be followed by a comprehensive lung function assessment such as that provided by the flexiVent system.

References

  • 1Murphy DJ, 2013. Respiratory safety pharmacology – Current practice and future direction. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology 69. DOI: 10.1016/j.yrtph.2013.11.010
  • 2Bates et al., 2003. Measuring lung function in mice: the phenotyping uncertainty principle.  J. of Appl. Physiology 1297-306. DOI: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00706.2002
  • Hoymann HG, 2012. Lung function measurements in rodents in safety pharmacology. Frontiers in pharmacology 3: article 156. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2012.00156.
  • Glaab T et al., 2001. Tidal midexpiratory flow as a measure of airway hyperresponsiveness in allergic mice. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol 280: L565-573.
  • Vijayaraghavan R et al., 1993. Characteristic modifications of the breathing pattern in mice to evaluate the effects of airborne chemicals on the respiratory tract. Arch Toxicol 67: 478-490.
  • Walker JKL et al., 2013. Assessment of murine lung mechanics outcome measures: alignment with those made in asthmatics. Frontiers in pharmacology 3: article 491. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2012.00491.



Wednesday, November 9, 2016

MEET WITH US IN SAN DIEGO AT SOCIETY FOR NEUROSCIENCE!

The emka & SCIREQ team will be attending the Society for Neuroscience 2016 conference in San Diego! We will present and demonstrate our wide range of preclinical instruments for neuro, pulmonary and cardio studies. Come by booth #3533 and speak with our experienced team about our solutions for physiology, pharmacology and toxicology research.

 A special focus on optogenetics

Optogenetic studies targeting respiratory centers in the brain stem can be paired with whole body plethysmography (WBP) to measure pulmonary function.

» Our WBP chambers pair with fibre optic cables to offer real-time assessment of lung function changes resulting from optical manipulation.
» Does not require anaesthetics, which can depress the neural-network controlling respiration.
» Conscious, freely moving subjects that have the ability to respond to real-time optical challenges.
» Swivel/tether system for measurement of other physiological parameters (ECG, EEG) or blood sampling following injections.
» Easily integrated with gas challenges (CO2/O2) to further induce or inhibit signaling pathways.
» Measures ventilatory parameters: Respiratory Rate (RR), estimated Tidal Volume (VT), Minute Ventilation (V) or Periodic breathing

Telemetry

easyTEL implantable system transmits physiological data from conscious freely moving laboratory animals. Our range of implants offers the ability to record the following parameters, depending on your study needs:

» Biopotential (ECG, EEG, EMG)
» Blood pressure
» Temperature
» Activity from acceleration

Click here to schedule a meeting with one of our specialists during SFN 2016.

Friday, November 4, 2016

THANK YOU UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON!


Thank you to Drs. Teodorescu and Broytman at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for hosting an introductory workshop and seminar on Lung Function Measurements in Rodents. Research and Development Manager, Liah Fereydoonzad, and Application Specialist, John Morse, worked with participants at the workshop to perform an automated dose-response study in an allergic model with the flexiVent.


The seminar presentation discussed a variety of solutions for in vivo lung physiology, from non-invasive whole body plethysmography to detailed respiratory mechanics with the flexiVent. An application specific approach to the outcomes of each method was presented, as the detail of outcomes is determined by the invasiveness of the technique1.




Please contact us to find out more about lung function measurements or if you are interested in hosting a similar event! www.scireq.com

1 J. H. Bates and C. G. Irvin, "Measuring lung function in mice: the phenotyping uncertainty principle.," Journal of Applied Physiology, vol. 94, p. 1297, 2003.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Thank you for meeting us at the 2016 Pittsburgh-Munich Lung Conference!

As it was our first time in attendance at the annual Pittsburgh-Munich Lung Conference, we would like to extend our thanks to the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh for such a warm welcome. The meeting was an excellent occasion to speak with current customers and other prominent researchers helping to improve our understanding of pulmonary immune response, inflammatory pathways and innovative approaches to treating respiratory disease.


Contact us to learn more about our suite of technology for respiratory research.

Phone 1.514.286.1429 | Toll Free 1.877.572.4737 | Email info@scireq.com

Monday, October 3, 2016

At the Forefront of Preclinical Tobacco Research


Smoking has reached an epidemic proportion worldwide and its effect in terms of health-related issues is huge. While smoking prevention and cessation are key to bringing an end to this epidemic, scientific research is needed both to understand smoke-induced pathophysiological mechanisms and to develop novel therapeutic agents to treat patients. The smoking market is also changing, as seen with the introduction of new nicotine delivery devices, such as electronic cigarettes. Their rapid adoption has raised a lot of questions relating to the safety and benefits of these devices, most of which remain incompletely addressed at the present day.

Given the extended time period needed to generate sound scientific evidence, research on tobacco or tobacco-related products requires a joint effort. SCIREQ is proud to be part of these efforts by offering state-of-the-art equipment for basic in vivo and in vitro studies. Particularly well adapted to generate consistent and reproducible exposure environments is the inExpose system, a versatile and programmable exposure system that can be configured with several smoke and vape generating devices. The impact on the respiratory system can then be assessed using invasive and non-invasive lung function measurement techniques. Sitting at the forefront, the flexiVent system offers a variety of lung function measurements to address specific questions or gain novel insights. These accurate and detailed measurements can be complemented by the non-invasive barometric monitoring of the ventilation profile or disease symptoms (e.g. cough) throughout a study, which can involve repeated exposure sessions over several months. Finally, any direct effect on either airway or vascular smooth muscle can also be evaluated in absence of external influences using tissue baths for an overall meaningful and far-reaching assessment.



Please contact us to find out more or visit our website at www.scireq.com.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Thank you ATS!

Thank you to the American Thoracic Society (ATS) conference organizers for another wonderful event! Our team is heading back to the office and are looking forward to continuing the discussion with all the researchers we met at our booth.

E-cigarette research

We had a wonderful Breakfast Symposium last Monday where guest speaker Dr. Laura Crotty Alexander1, SCIREQ's Vice-President Mr. David Brunet and Senior Scientist Dr. Annette Robichaud discussed what is known about e-cigarettes and what is left to be discovered and how researchers might work together towards standardization of the various parameters used to assess the impact of these devices. Many researchers gathered to share their knowledge and to begin answering some questions. Everyone agrees that more work needs to be done before we can have a clear understanding of the impact of e-cigarettes - an industry that it changing at a fast pace.

Lung volumes

The flexiVent is now capable of providing more measurements of lung volumes. The newest additions include measurements of the total and residual lung volumes (TLC/RV). As with other techniques, this is done using a computer-controlled automated manoeuvre for standardization and control of parameters. The acquisition of these new outcomes does not require the use of a separate device and can easily be preceded by comprehensive respiratory mechanics measurements typically performed with the flexiVent. Lung volume changes are sensitive to physiological or pathophysiological changes.

SCIREQ's Senior Scientist, Dr. Annette Robichaud, and R&B manager, Ms. Liah Fereydoonzad, presented their poster at ATS entitled "Automated full range pressure-volume curves in mice & rats2" which found that the automated method of constructing full range PV curves in mice proved to be equivalent to the classic, manually operated, syringe pump method. The automation of the technique alleviates some of the weaknesses of the classic technique while bringing simplicity and standardization.

To learn more on the flexiVent and the lung volumes technique, visit our website at www.scireq.com/flexiVent/lung_volumes.

1Dr. Laura Crotty Alexander is a researcher and staff physician in the VA San Diego Healthcare System and Assistant Professor at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD). She obtained her doctorate degree of medicine (M.D.) from Duke University and trained in internal medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital. She then stayed in the Boston area and completed a Pulmonary and Critical Care fellowship training at the Harvard Medical School before moving to UCSD for a post-doctoral fellowship. She obtained a VA career development award via her research in asthma, and accepted a faculty position at UCSD in 2011.

Dr. Crotty Alexander has authored many publications on electronic cigarettes and is a leader in this field of research.

2Automated full range pressure-volume curves in mice & rats - Robichaud A et al. PDF version on SCIREQ website

Thursday, May 19, 2016

inExpose featured in recent Nature publication

Congratulations to Dr. Blackwell's team at Vanderbilt University who recently published in Nature Communications1!

As you may know, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by obstruction in airflow, chronic inflammation, and destruction of the alveolar tissue. This group from Vanderbilt University hypothesized that secretory immunoglobulin A (SIgA) deficiency contributes to chronic airway inflammation and COPD disease progression.

The SCIREQ inExpose was utilized in multiple ways to gather evidence to support their theory. First, using the inExpose to deliver cigarette smoke, researchers confirmed that (SIgA) knock-out mice spontaneously develop COPD-like symptoms with similar severity to cigarette smoke exposed subjects.

Next, a lysate from a non-typeable Haemophilus influenza (NTHi), which is commonly found in COPD patients, was prepared as an aerosol solution and delivered using the inExpose to both wild-type and knock-out mice. The group then re-introduced SIgA and found an attenuated inflammatory response, suggesting SIgA limits the response to bacterial antigens in the respiratory system.

To learn more and read the full publication, visit Nature Communications' website at www.nature.com/ncomms/2016/160405/ncomms11240/

Whether through smoke or aerosol, nose-only or whole body exposure, the inExpose easily adapts to various toxicology research needs by permitting relevant and reproducible inhalation exposure models. To learn more on this product, please visit our website at www.scireq.com/inexpose.

1Airway bacteria drive a progressive COPD-like phenotype in mice with polymeric immunoglobulin receptor deficiency Richmond BW et al. Nat Commun. 2016 Apr 5;7:11240. doi: 10.1038/ncomms11240.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Japanese Respiratory Society's annual meeting with a global focus

We were delighted to see a global presence at the 56th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Respiratory Society (JRS) conference in Kyoto Japan. The conference, themed "Pulmonary medicine 2016, Developing Intellectual and Future Innovations", featured ATS/ERS/JRS/APSR Inter-Assembly Symposiums that aimed to promote basic lung research and strengthen exchanges with academic societies overseas.

Many International speakers were invited as lecturers to highlight important progress being made in the field of respiratory research. Key International symposiums included:

  • Update on lung cancer
  • Inter-assembly symposium on Allergy, Immunology and inflammation
  • Inter-assembly symposium of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Update on COPD pathogenesis and therapy
  • Update on asthma pathogenesis and therapy
  • Update on Pulmonary Fibrosis and therapy

    Mr. Eiji Iwane and Shota Inoue, emka & SCIREQ's representative in Japan, and SCIREQ's Vice President Mr. David Brunet met with researchers and delegates from the various respiratory societies, taking part in this international collaboration first hand.

    We loved Japan and hope all JRS attendees enjoyed its amazing culture, food and views of Sakura cherry blossom trees. We hope to see you in Tokyo next year.

    Related links:

  • Japanese Respiratory Society (JRS)
  • American Thoracic Society (ATS)
  • European Respiratory Society (ERS)
  • Asian Pacific Society of Respirology (APSR)

  • Thursday, March 24, 2016

    Meet with us in San Diego at Experimental Biology!

    Our team of Application Specialist are traveling to sunny San Diego next week to attend the Experimental Biology conference yet again! We will present and demonstrate our solutions for physiology, pharmacology and toxicology research. Take advantage of our presence to discuss your research and how emka & SCIREQ can provide solutions for your studies.

  • Detailed, reproducible and accurate data with the flexiVent, the gold standard for in vivo lung function measurements.
  • Inhalation exposure studies with e-cigarettes, heavy metals, environmental pollutants, occupational hazards and more using the inExpose.
  • tremoFlo for detailed lung function measurements in conscious large animals that go far beyond the guideline.
  • Plethysmographs for control of breathing and other conscious respiratory measurements.

    Click here to schedule a meeting with one of our respiratory specialists during EB 2016.

    Exhibit hours:

    Sunday April 3 - 9am to 4pm
    Monday April 4 - 9am to 4pm
    Tuesday April 5 - 9am to 4pm

    Contact us!

    Phone 1.514.286.1429 | Toll Free 1.877.572.4737
    Email emka_SCIREQ@scireq.com

  • Tuesday, March 8, 2016

    emka & SCIREQ at ToxExpo 2016 in New Orleans!

    We will present and demonstrate our solutions for physiology, pharmacology and toxicology research. Take advantage of our presence to discuss your research and how emka & SCIREQ can provide solutions for your studies.

  • Inhalation exposure studies with e-cigarettes, heavy metals, environmental pollutants, occupational hazards and more using the inExpose
  • tremoFlo for detailed lung function measurements in conscious large animals that go far beyond the guideline.
  • Plethysmographs for conscious toxicology studies compliant with ICH S7A Guidelines & GLP

    As experts in respiratory safety pharmacology and toxicology emka & SCIREQ offer a suite of precise preclinical instruments for ex vivo and in vivo studies. Talk to our experienced team at SOT ToxExpo 2016 in New Orleans, LA at booth 1439, during posters and scientific sessions. Take advantage of our daily live demos to learn more about our products and services which include GLP guideline compliance.

    Booth 1439

    Exhibit hours:
    Monday March 14 9:15am to 4:30pm
    Tuesday March 15 9:15am to 4:30pm
    Wednesday March 16 9:15am to 4:30pm

    Contact us to schedule a meeting at our booth!

    Phone 1.514.286.1429 | Toll Free 1.877.572.4737
    Email emka_SCIREQ@scireq.com

  • Monday, February 22, 2016

    WHAT YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SPECIFIC AIRWAY RESISTANCE

    Specific airway resistance (sRaw), or its reciprocal specific airway conductance (sGaw), was first introduced over 35 years ago as a way to gather information on airflow resistance in conscious subjects during quiet spontaneous breathing. This parameter is derived from the double-chamber plethysmography (DCP) technique, which separately captures the subject’s nasal and thoracic flow signals over time.

    sRaw and the DCP Technique

    In addition to information on flow, information on the alveolar pressure changes is typically needed to characterise resistance to airflow within the respiratory system. This latter signal is however not easy to record in a conscious subject. In the DCP technique, information on airflow resistance across the entire airway tree is extracted from the comparison of nasal and thoracic flow waveforms. In this approach, while both waveforms are generally similar and can be superimposed under baseline conditions, the presence of an increased resistance, such as during bronchoconstriction, causes the nasal signal to be delayed relative to the thoracic one, thus inducing a measurable time interval that was shown to be proportional to sRaw.

    sRaw and Gas Conditioning

    The point on the waveform at which to characterize the time delay between nasal and thoracic flow signals is important. During inspiration, the air entering the airways gets heated and humidified and, as a result, expands within the lungs. This process, known as gas conditioning, has significant implications in the determination of the time delay mainly because it is particularly important during inspiration, which is also when peak changes in resistance occur. However, gas conditioning is proportional to flow. Therefore, its impact is minimal at the end of inspiration where flow is zero (see red circle in the picture). This specific point on the flow profile can thus be employed for sRaw determination, specifically because of it allows for a separation between the contributing gas conditioning and resistive components. It is worth mentioning that this specific point does not however correspond to the point of peak resistance changes, which would happen earlier during inspiration, and therefore represents a compromise as highlighted by the phenotyping uncertainty principle.

    sRaw and Airway Resistance

    While sRaw captures information on airflow resistance, it is important to realize that it is not a true measurement of airway resistance. Its units are cmH2O.s while typical airway resistance units would be cmH2O.s/mL. sRaw rather denotes work of breathing as it is defined by the product of airway resistance and the lung volume at the end of inspiration, the functional residual capacity or FRC. Since both factors can influence the outcome of sRaw and that there is an inverse relationship between them, best practice would be to complement measurements of sRaw with direct measurements of both upper and lower airway resistance. This would not only provide more insight in interpreting the results but also a refined and comprehensive assessment leading to a deeper understanding. The flexiVent system offers detailed lung function measurements which can prove helpful in identifying the response site within the lower airway segment while also providing direct upper airway resistance measurements. Both airway segments can also be assessed almost simultaneously in the same subject using a specialized configuration of the system.

    Please contact us to find out more on preclinical lung function measurement techniques and their outcomes.

    Read more

    Pennock et al. 1979. A noninvasive technique for measurement of changes in specific airway resistance. J Appl Physiol 46: 399-406.

    Bates JH, Irvin CG. 2003. Measuring lung function in mice: the phenotyping uncertainty principle. J Appl Physiol 94:1297-306.

    West, JB, 2012. Respiratory physiology: the essentials. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

    Thursday, February 18, 2016

    Customer service tailored to your research application

    It has been almost two years since emka & SCIREQ joined forces to offer a wider range of scientific instruments for life sciences research. To ensure you receive the best application support, our team is now structured by area of expertise, aligned with your research interests for both non-GLP and GLP applications:

  • SCIREQ: Respiratory research - lung function and inhalation
    www.scireq.com | sales@scireq.com | 1-877-572-4737

  • emka:Telemetry, cardiovascular and neuro studies
    www.emkatech.com | emkatech@emkatech.com | 703-237-9001

    Dedicated emka & SCIREQ representatives are always available to discuss your research and offer the best tools for your application. Please do not hesitate to contact us with your inquiries.

  • Monday, January 18, 2016

    First 2016 flexiVent Publications

    The New Year has just started and already an impressive number of publications featuring the flexiVent are available. Amongst these first 2016 publications, we are proud to highlight one by a Canadian group of researchers whose findings could prove to be useful to outline disease mechanisms or investigate new therapeutic avenues:

    BIOSIGNATURE FOR AIRWAY INFLAMMATION IN A HOUSE DUST MITE-CHALLENGED MURINE MODEL OF ALLERGIC ASTHMA. - Hadeesha Piyadasa, Anthony Altieri, Sujata Basu, Jacquie Schwartz, Andrew J. Halayko, Neeloffer Mookherjee. Biology Open 2016 : doi: 10.1242/bio.014464

    The flexiVent - An Invaluable Tool

    The study describes a list of biomolecules pertaining to the allergen most frequently associated with human asthma, house-dust mite, in a preclinical model. It also includes relevant physiological endpoints such as airway hyperresponsiveness, a key feature of asthma, which, in this paper, was assessed using a detailed lung function measurement method exclusive to the flexiVent system. This approach is based on a multi-frequency forced oscillation evaluation of the respiratory system which permits the partitioning of the response into airway and tissue mechanics. A refined level of model characterization can thus be obtained for a deeper level of understanding.

    Please contact us for more information on how to incorporate detailed lung function measurements into your studies.

    View all publications

    We invite you to click here and browse through over 1,500 publications featuring the flexiVent.

    Author for correspondence

    Dr. Neeloffer Mookherjee, http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~mookherj/