RI-MUHC Technology Platforms
At the RI-MUHC, a number of technology platforms are available to the research community:
Meakins-Christie Core Facilities
Smooth Muscle Biomechanics and Respiratory System Mechanics
A small animal pulmonary function laboratory is supervised by Dr. James Martin and a smooth muscle mechanics laboratory supervised by Dr. Ann-Marie Lauzon. Additional details available on Dr. Anne-Marie Lauzon’s webpage.
Equipment and Techniques Available: Measurement of respiratory system mechanics (Flexivent), Allergen and methacholine challenge testing (mice, rats and larger rodents), Measurement of isometric and isotonic shortening of both smooth and skeletal muscle (In vitro motility and laser trap assays, and muscle strip force-velocity setup).
Skeletal Muscle Biomechanics
Additional details available on Dr. Basil Petrof’s webpage.
Equipment and Techniques Available: In vitro organ bath preparation to determine diaphragmatic foce generating capacity.
The Meakins Flow Cytometry core is managed by Dr. Irah King. Training for all equipment is mandatory.
Equipment Available: FACSCanto II with autoloader, ImageStream®X Mark II Imaging Flow Cytometer, BD’s LSR II and Accuri C6 flow cytometers.
The Meakins provides training on all microscopes.
Equipment available: Multihead microscope for teaching purposes,Olympus and Zeiss fluorescence microscopes, Morphometry (software and hardware), Inverted fluorescence microscopy for live cell imaging and Ca2+ experiments, Arcturus XT laser capture microdissection system, Zeiss LSM700 confocal microscope, and fluorescence slide scanner.
Teaching and hands-on training for students and fellows isprovided. Protocols for some of the techniques used can be found on Dr. Hamid’s website.
Equipment available: Leica cryostat, several Leica Microtomes ,a Roche benchmark Ultra for Automated immunocytochemistry / In situ hybridization slide staining, Arcturus XT laser capture microdissection system, Droplet Digital PCR.
A key aspect to translational research is access to patient-derived samples and tissues. The Meakins, together with RECRU or other RI-MUHC programs, is actively involved in the establishment and maintenance of various biobanks:
- The Severe Asthma Program banks asthmatic tissues and bronchoscopic biopsies in conjunction with the Quebec Respiratory Health Network of the FRQS
- The CF group collects sputum, nasal epithelial cells, and serum from CF patients at baseline and during exacerbations in collaboration with the CF clinic
- The TB group collects serum before and during treatment and stool samples to assess the gut microbiome
- Lung Biobank: a collaboration with Thoracic Surgery and Pathology collects fresh and fixed lung and diaphragm tissues and blood from patients undergoing lung resection procedures.
Centre for Innovative Medicine
The Centre for Innovative Medicine (CIM) provides researchers with access to a full range of clinical research services in a state-of-the-art environment dedicated to clinical research, including: muscle biopsies, pulmonary function testing, sleep laboratories, a cardiopulmonary physiology exercise lab. a medical imaging platform (CT, MRI, X-ray, US), a surgery facility including a bronchoscopy room.