New opportunities at IEMR: Full circuit at the Core facility for large animal research

IEMR researchers Mani Sadredini (left) and Mathis Korseberg Stokke are assisted by Erik Kongsgård (right), Head of Section for arrhythmia and electrophysiology at Rikshospitalet, to establish invasive electrophysiology at the Core facility. (All photos: Nicolas Tourrenc)

The IEMR way is excellent cardiac research from bench to bedside. “And back again!” adds Professor Mathis Korseberg Stokke, fired up by recent events at the Core facility for large animal research.


Morten Eriksen, Head of the Core facility for large animal research, is in the midst of a procedure at IEMR: “Ok, that’s a VT. Prepare to shock. Everybody back off. Ok, back to sinus rhythm.”

The unmistakable commands during resuscitation from Morten are familiar at IEMR. But this time, something is different. “This arrhythmia means the system is working perfectly”, says Professor Mathis Korseberg Stokke, Head of the research group Translational arrhytmology and electrophysiology at IEMR.

Mathis Korseberg Stokke works with representatives from the industry to establish the highly specialized equipment needed for invasive electrophysiological procedures.

The equipment allows detailed and standardized studies of cardiac electrophysiology and mechanisms for arrhythmias. Mathis gives an example:

“We’re studying the effects of different drugs on the propensity for arrhythmias after myocardial infarctions. The new equipment allows us to use standardized protocols to quantify what it takes to induce arrhythmias in different experimental conditions. The great thing is that with this equipment and large animal models, we can perform exactly the same procedure as used for invasive electrophysiology and catheter ablation in patients. It’s really the last part of the circuit from clinical problems, to classic studies of molecular biology and rodent models, back towards improved understanding of human disease.”

“Actually, Morten and I started working on this more than 10 years ago”, says Mathis, “but we intensified the work a few years ago, and now we have finally performed the first experiments!”

“This is what the Core facility is for”, adds Morten. “Highly specialized procedures like this needs to be initiated by the researchers, but I try to provide the best possible conditions for high quality research, without any compromise in animal welfare.”

IEMR has a long tradition for the use of a wide range of research models, including large animals. The Core facility offers research groups at UiO and OUS a unique opportunity to test hypotheses in models with crucial similarities to humans.

“This latest addition to our range of methods and opportunities is an excellent example of how we want to work”, says Mathis. “Methods that can provide important answers in our research are established at IEMR in collaboration with external experts, in this case colleagues from the Section for Arrhythmias at Department of Cardiology at Rikshospitalet and representatives from the industry. This will benefit our own research groups, as well as external groups wanting to use large animals for their projects.”

Read more about the Core Facility for Large Animal Research

State of the art IT-competency from Head Engineer Per Andreas Norseng is crucial to ensure safe and high quality data collection, as are timeless surgical instruments.