Preclinical Research

Two key areas of Preclinical research in the Department of Emergency Medicine:

Exploring the physiology of cardiac arrest and the post-cardiac arrest syndrome

Developing treatments to improve resuscitation outcomes

We utilize validated animal models of cardiac arrest to observe disease processes under controlled conditions that are difficult or impossible to achieve in clinical studies.

Dr. Menegazzi’s lab uses a swine model of prolonged ventricular fibrillation to explore the physiology of the heart during cardiac arrest, as well as therapies geared toward improving the probability of regaining and maintaining pulses.

In the swine lab equipment includes:

  • Acute, Non-Survival Surgical Suite for Swine
  • LUCAS Mechanical CPR Device
  • Impedance Compensating Biphasic Defibrillator
  • Micromanometer Pressure Transducing Catheters
  • High Resolution Digital Data Capture Unit

Dr. Callaway’s lab uses a rat model of prolonged cardiac arrest to study mainly neurologic consequences of cardiac arrest and resuscitation therapies designed to reduce neurologic deficits following resuscitation. 

In the wet lab equipment includes:

  • Surgical and Short Term Survival/Recovery Suite for Rodents
  • Light and Immunofluorescence Microscopy / Digital Imaging Workstation
  • Rodent Cognitive Aptitude Maze
  • Neurohistology Station
  • High Resolution Digital Data Capture Unit

Between these two labs, our department has the ability to explore the full range of contemporary hot topics in resuscitation research. These include the optimization of ACLS treatment algorithms, post-cardiac arrest temperature management, therapies for toxicological causes of cardiac arrest, and resuscitation with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation technology, just to name a few.

The department also maintains an extensive retrospective database of physiologic signals from nearly a decade of resuscitation experiments, providing a rich pool of data for minimal impact studies (no new corpses), as well as material for the development of custom research software.