Frequently asked questions

1. What equipment do I need to run isolated tissue experiments?
2. Which tissues can I study with the emkaBATH4 setup?
3. Can I use the bath setup with any data acquisition software?
4. Why does carbogen pressure have to be controlled so precisely?
5. I have heard that transducers used for isometric measurements are very fragile and need to be replaced regularly. Is this true?
6. Is it possible to change baths?
7. What is the difference between constant pressure and post-charge mode of the pressure/flow regulator?
8. What is the role of the perfusion head?
9. How many perfusates can be used in the isolated heart setup?
10. Can I do Langendorff heart experiments with the working heart setup?
1. What equipment do I need to run isolated tissue experiments?

In addition to the equipment included in the standard emkaBATH4 tissue setup, you will also need a carbogen supply (pressurized at 0.3 bar), a perfusate bottle, a waste bottle and data acquisition system.
All of these can be supplied by emka TECHNOLOGIES except for the carbogen (although our technicians can fit the pressure regulation system).

2. Which tissues can I study with the emkaBATH4 setup?

The emkaBATH4 is  suitable for most applications (aorta, trachea, papillary muscle...) due to the availability of a wide range of tissue fixation hooks and baths of different volumes (5, 10, 20 ml). In addition, the baths are interchangeable.

3. Can I use the bath setup with any data acquisition software?

Yes. emkaBATH4 all-in-one mainframe and SET-4 tissue bath setup may be used with iox2 or a third-party data acquisition software. 

 

4. Why does carbogen pressure have to be controlled so precisely?

As well as oxygenating the physiological solution in emkaBATH4, the carbogen pushes the physiological solution from the bottles to the baths (i.e. a pump is not required). To achieve this in a safe manner, the pressure of the carbogen supply must be maintained between 0.2 and 0.35 bar (20000 to 35000 Pa, 3 and 5 psi). If the carbogen pressure rises above 0.35 bar, bath filling will be too fast. In addition, if the pressure rises above a few bars the physiological solution bottles may explode.

To ensure a safe working environment, a second pressure regulator is usually required (in addition to the one found on the carbogen bottle). A flow regulator is not a viable solution.

If you are not confident of your ability to devise a safe pressure regulation system,emka TECHNOLOGIES technicians can fit one for you.

5. I have heard that transducers used for isometric measurements are very fragile and need to be replaced regularly. Is this true?

It is true that isometric transducers are fragile; this is unsurprising given their sensitivity and their precision. However, when handled with care, they are long-lasting devices that do not need to be replaced regularly.

For customers who do not require the level of precision offered by the it1 transducer supplied as standard, we developed a new isometric transducer, the it50, as a more robust and less expensive alternative.

The it50 transducer and ittransducer can be used interchangeably on the same setup.

6. Is it possible to change baths?

Yes, baths are interchangeable and available in a variety of materials and volumes.

7. What is the difference between constant pressure and post-charge mode of the pressure/flow regulator?

In fact, both modes are constant pressure modes but each is used for a specific configuration:

Constant pressure mode
This mode is used in the Langendorff configuration. The specificity of this configuration is that the transducer measuring perfusate pressure is located upstream of the heart. In other words, the perfusate arriving at the heart is maintained at a constant pressure.

Post-charge mode
This mode is used in the working heart configuration. The specificity of this configuration is that the transducer measuring perfusate pressure is located downstream of the heart. In other words, the perfusate leaving the heart is maintained at a constant pressure, hence the term post-charge.

8. What is the role of the perfusion head?

The perfusion head contains a chamber known as a 'compliance chamber'.
During  experiments, the compliance chamber is about three-quarters full of perfusate.
The presence of air in the chamber fulfils three objectives:

  • to simulate vascular compliance 
  • to act as a pressure dampener: because air is compressible, the small pressure fluctuations inherent to peristaltic pump are partially reduced
  • to act as bubble trap: any bubbles in the perfusate are released in the compliance chamber ensuring that perfusate flowing out of the compliance chamber is free of bubbles.

9. How many perfusates can be used in the isolated heart setup?

Up to three perfusates may be used in the Langendorff heart setup.

One or two perfusates may be used in the working heart setup (regardless of whether it is used in the Langendorff or working heart configuration).

10. Can I do Langendorff heart experiments with the working heart setup?

Yes! The WH setup has been specifically designed to allow LH experiments as well as WH experiments. 

(Please note that the LH setup can only be used for LH experiments.)

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