There are many ways to reach an answer in cardiovascular research.
But there are few convincing ones. Imaging is definitely one of them. However imaging is only a representation of reality.
Despite a formidable evolution of ultrasound imaging quality (3D, TEE, Intra cardiac echo) and angiography (biplane, 3D reconstruction, scatter radiation optimization), it is often difficult to actually “see” what we are doing inside the body, and particularly in the heart. In order to have direct vision of valves and interventional procedures, advancing a camera inside the heart was not the greatest challenge, but we had to find a way to see through blood. Replacing blood by saline was the best solution. We have worked in that simple manner for almost 10 years, on arrested hearts and sometimes on beating hearts. This approach has provided us with the capacity to see things that were impossible to visualize on the explanted open heart, thanks to the magnifying capability of the telescope, and even more importantly see it in situ with a fully loaded heart. But we had difficulties keeping the heart beat for more than a few minutes with solely saline or a Krebs Henseleit solution, albeit oxygenated. Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, we simply found the world specialists of ex-vivo isolated beating heart platforms : LifeTec group. Our partnership makes a lot of sense as they have a unique know-how in ex vivo beating hearts and as we are specialists of preclinical validation of medical devices, in particular for structural heart disease.

Dr Nicolas Borenstein,
DVM, PhD, Scientific and technical manager

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