Wednesday, May 31, 2017

World No Tobacco Day

Every year, on 31 May, WHO and partners mark World No Tobacco Day (WNTD), highlighting the health and additional risks associated with tobacco use, and advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.

The theme for this year's World No Tobacco Day is "Tobacco – a threat to development." It proposes measures that governments and the public should take to promote health and development by confronting the global tobacco crisis.1

  
The harmful effects of tobacco smoke exposure are well documented. Yet research is still necessary to understand the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms and there is a pressing need for new therapeutic agents to treat patients. Scientific evidence is also needed to understand the risks associated with vapour exposure from electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) in order to guide the decision-making process for the use of these nicotine delivery devices. The rapid adoption of e-cigarettes, especially amongst the youth, has spurred a rush to fill the knowledge gap pertaining to the safety profile for the users and the environment.

SCIREQ Related Products for
Tobacco Studies, E-Cigarettes & Vaping


The inExpose is a versatile, programmable, and compact exposure system that can be configured with smoke generation devices (e.g. cigarette smoking robot, single cigarette chamber, e-cigarettes), or nebulizers to generate a wide range of exposures consistently within and between studies, as well as across laboratories.

The E-cigarette extension is designed for the push button 3rd generation “MOD” e-cigarettes. This extension allows for longer exposures due to a larger tank, offers automated activation, custom puff profiles, and temperature control of the vapour produced.


The flexiVent system combines a wide selection of lung function measurements within a single device, while offering the sensitivity to capture small but significant changes. Overall and detailed respiratory mechanics, specific lung volumes, pressure-volume or flow-volume loops are examples of measurements used in tobacco or e-cigarette related studies with some outcomes (FEV, lung volumes) also having a translational value. 

To learn more about our products and how they may provide insight into tobacco related diseases or other applications, please contact info@scireq.com.

References 

1World Health Organization. "Tobacco - a threat to development" http://www.who.int/campaigns/no-tobacco-day/2017/en/

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

ATS 2017 - Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who visited our booth at ATS 2017 in Washington last week! It was a successful conference and we look forward to seeing you all again next year.




We also had a great time celebrating the 20th anniversary of the flexiVent during our yearly breakfast event.  A special THANK YOU to our presenters! It was due to their contribution, that the event was well attended and received very positive feedback. 


We are looking forward to future scientific and technological advances that will help researchers learn and better understand pulmonary function.

Your SCIREQ Team!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is an inherited autosomal recessive disease resulting from mutations in the CF Transmembrane conductance Regulator (CFTR) gene. CF patients progressively develop a pronounced respiratory phenotype, as the absence of CFTR function in the lung is associated with the thickening of secretions as well as the inability to properly excrete or clear them. This leads to bacteria accumulation and eventually bronchiectasis, allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, and even respiratory failure.


The identification of the CFTR gene in the late 1980s propelled CF research1.  CFTR was identified as a chloride channel and knockout mice were generated, but the early phenotyping studies lacked the sensitivity required to quantify respiratory changes in these mice. It wasn’t until the detailed respiratory mechanics of the flexiVent that the first respiratory CFTR phenotype was reported2.  Various preclinical models of CF are now available3-5 to study the pulmonary manifestations of the CF disease and respiratory mechanics remain an important study outcome in that field.

There is also mounting evidence that CFTR plays a direct role in the airway smooth muscle6. Measuring the reactivity of isolated tracheal rings or strips ex vivo, in tissue baths, allows for a functional assessment in absence of external influences.  This approach was taken to study the effect of CFTR function on human airway smooth muscle and to confirm its role in bronchorelaxation6.



The emka & SCIREQ team will be attending the American Thoracic Society’s 2017 conference in Washington, DC! Come visit our booth #1731 and speak with our experienced team about our solutions for preclinical pediatric research.

1Identification of the cystic fibrosis gene: chromosome walking and jumping – Rommens et al. Science 245: 1059, 1989.
2 The “Goldilocks Effect” in Cystic Fibrosis: Identification of a lung phenotype in cftr knockout and heterozygous mouse – Cohen et al. BMC Genetics., 5: 21, 2004.
3Air trapping and airflow obstruction in newborn cystic fibrosis piglets – Adams et al. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 188: 1434, 2013.
4Lung phenotype of juvenile and adult cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator knockout ferrets – Sun et al. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol 50: 502, 2014.
5Early pulmonary disease manifestations in cystic fibrosis mice – Darrah et al. Journal of Cystic Fibrosis 15: 736, 2016.
6Bronchorelaxation of the human bronchi by CFTR activators – Norez et al. ‎Pulm Pharmacol Ther 27: 38, 2014.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) relates to the sudden and unexplained death of infants, typically during sleep. The cause is currently unknown, although it is thought to be linked to the neuronal control of breathing, particularly to the infant’s ability to respond to external stressors. It is also recognized that environmental factors (e.g. sleeping position, surface material, room temperature, second-hand smoke exposure) can increase the risk, along with other factors such as respiratory infections, gestational age at birth, or genetic disorders.


Changes in the breathing pattern can be an early indicator of the infants’ cardiovascular and respiratory systems inability to respond to external stresses, such as elevated CO21.  In preclinical research, breathing patterns can be tracked in conscious and unrestrained subjects for extended time periods using whole body plethysmography. This can be done in absence or presence of known external stressors, making this system an ideal tool to study SIDS models. Inserts are also available for neonate subjects so that ventilatory parameters can be studied as early as 2-3 days after birth.


Approximately 10-15% of all SIDS cases can be linked to ion channel mutations leading to fatal cardiac arrhythmias. Electrocardiogram (ECG) recordings can track the onset of ectopic beats and ventricular tachycardia, which can directly lead to sudden death2. Invasive or surface ECG recordings can be used to detect and quantify arrhythmias in newborn subjects to study SIDS.

Speak with our experienced team about your research during the American Thoracic Society’s 2017 conference.  Take the opportunity to visit the emka & SCIREQ booth  #1731 and learn more about our different solutions for your preclinical research.


1The Cerebellum and SIDS: Disordered Breathing in a Mouse Model of Developmental Cerebellar Purkinje Cell Loss during Recovery from Hypercarbia – Calton et al. Front Neurol. 7:78, 2016.
2Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in Mice with an Inherited Mutation in RyR2 – Mathur et al. Circ Arrhythm Electrophyisiol. 2:677, 2009

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia

Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a pediatric respiratory disorder that affects preterm infants who experienced respiratory distress. The distress can be treated with artificial surfactant administration and hyperoxia which leads to impaired growth of the lung due. BPD will begin to manifest as inflammation and vascular changes in the lungs1.


A common model of preclinical BPD uses hyperoxic exposure an early stage of life to alter the development of the subject’s lungs. Using conscious, unrestrained term or preterm subjects in a whole body plethysmography chamber allows for longitudinal measurements of ventilatory parameters, while also enabling controlled mixing and delivery of gases to generate a reproducible hyperoxic environment. Whole body plethysmography provides an ideal set-up to generate a model and track changes in the ventilatory parameters simultaneously.

Hyperoxia induced BPD leads to airway remodeling and airway hyperresponsiveness in early adulthood2. Changes in the tissue properties of the subject can reflect changes due to the effects of hyperoxia on lung development3. The flexiVent is a small animal ventilator that measures detailed respiratory mechanics. With the use of an integrated nebulizer, automated dose responses capturing the mechanical properties of the lung can separate naïve and BPD subjects, and potentially show separation within the treated groups due to disease severity.


Once exposed to hyperoxia at early stages of life, subjects are more likely to develop pulmonary hypertension as the changes in lung growth add strains on the cardiovascular system4. By measuring right ventricular pressure (RVP) through catheterization and quantifying the Pressure-Volume (PV) loops of the RVP, the severity of the associated pulmonary hypertension can be measured.


The emka & SCIREQ team will be attending the American Thoracic Society’s 2017 conference in Washington, D.C.! Come visit our booth #1731 and speak with our experienced team about our solutions for preclinical pediatric research.

1 Caffeine Prevents Hyperoxia-Induced Functional and Structural Lung Damage in Preterm Rabbits – Toelen et al. Neonatology. 109:274, 2016
2 Characteristics of asthma and airway hyper-responsiveness after premature birth – Oymar et al. Pediatr Allergy Immunol., 16: 487, 2005
3 Neonatal Hyperoxia Causes Pulmonary Vascular Disease and Shortens Life Span in Aging Mice – O’Reilly et al. Am J Physiol., 17:2601, 2011
4 Inhaled nitric oxide attenuates pulmonary hypertension and improves lung growth in infant rats after neonatal treatment with a VEGF receptor inhibitor – Abman et al. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 283:L555, 2002


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

WORLD ASTHMA DAY


The first Tuesday in May is marked as World Asthma Day by the Global Initiative for Asthma. This is an annual event with a goal to improve asthma awareness and care around the world. According to World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, 235 million people suffer from asthma and it’s the most common chronic disease among children. Asthma can be both chronic and heterogeneous and is often associated with allergies to airborne antigens. WHO also notes that asthma affects people in all countries around the world regardless of development1.


Learn more about SCIREQ's solutions for Asthma research.
 
Assessing airway responsiveness in response to aerosol challenges is the most frequently reported outcome for asthma research. When equipped with an integrated nebulizer, the flexiVent can be used to both deliver aerosol challenges to a subject’s lungs and follow the developing bronchoconstriction through automated data collection.


Thank You to all researchers and health care providers who are striving to develop effective treatments for this condition.

1World Health Organization. "10 facts on Asthma" http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/asthma/en//