Research facilities

Excellent and state-of-the-art lab facilities allow scientists at Mech-Sense to perform efficient and high quality research from developing and validating new models and translating them into pharmacological interventions and patients.

Facilities at Department of Radiology

A 3T General Electric SIGNA Premier MRI system allows for:

Advanced brain imaging:

  • 3D brain structure for volume and cortical thickness analysis
  • DTI for assessment of white matter tracts and structural connectivity
  • Resting state fMRI for functional connectivity analysis
  • Task related fMRI for assessment of brain activation
  • Spectroscopy for assessment of concentration of brain metabolites

Imaging of pancreas:

  • Structural imaging:
    • Gland volumetry
    • DWI for fibrosis assessment
    • Dixon for fat assessment
    • Ductal changes
  • Functional imaging:
    • Secretin stimulation for assessment of exocrine pancreatic secretion

Imaging of the gastrointestinal tract:

  • Colonic volume
  • Colonic content
  • Gastric emptying
  • Gastric motility
  • Small bowel motility
  • Small bowel water content

Facilities at Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Our fully equipped laboratory allows for the application of a range of methods, some of which are listed here:

EEG (electroencephalogram):

Resting and evoked EEG can be measured at the cervical as well as cortical level using standard EEG equipment.

Visceral stimulation:

Application of different probes for either esophageal or rectal stimulation that allows following visceral stimuli:

  • Mechanical stimuli with water or air infusion into a small balloon mounted on a probe.
  • Thermal stimulation (by circulating warm or cold water in the balloon (1°C, 68°C).
  • Electrical stimulation (stimulation of the mucosa with weak electrical impulses (below 80 mA) through electrodes on the probe.
  • Chemical stimulation by perfusion of hydrochloride acid with the same pH concentration of stomach fluid or a capsaicin solution.

QST (quantitative sensory testing):

  • Thermal stimulation: Thermal detection and pain thresholds assessed using a computerized contact heat-evoked potential stimulator.
  • Mechanical stimulation: Pressure pain threshold assessed using an electronic pressure algometer.
  • Sensory testing: Allodynia and hyperalgesia assessed with validated methods such as Pinprick and/or soft brush, or Von Frey monofilaments.
  • Cold pressor test in combination with test pain: CPM (conditioned pain modulation) is assessed by scoring pressure pain before and after submerging the subject’s hand into 2ºC water for two minutes.
  • Electrical stimulation: Nociceptive withdrawal reflex. Electrical stimulation of the median nerve at the wrist.

Autonomic Neuropathy:

  • Cardiovascular autonomic reflex test using the handheld VagusTM device
  • Heart Rate Variability from 24 hour and 5 day sternum based electrocardiogram
  • Cardiac vagal tone from five-minute electrocardigraphic readings
  • Sudomotor function

Whole gut motility assessments:

Capsule-based assessment methods that include tracking of small non-digestible capsules through the gastrointestinal tract. The measurements allow for assessment of segmental gastrointestinal transit times.  

  • SmartPill motility capsule investigation that measures pressure, pH, and temperature. Motility indices can be derived from individual segments. 
  • 3D-Transit motility capsule investigation that measures rotation and 3D position of the capsule. The capsule can be live-tracked using a bluetooth connection and a fast (5-10 Hz) sampling frequency allows for quantification of capsule movements within the gastrointestinal tract including length, direction and velocity. 

Modulation of the pain system: Breathing techniques, physical activities and distraction can be used to modulate the pain system. Blood samples for PK/PD (pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic modeling): Samples are taken and stored at -80°C for further biochemical analysis elsewhere.

Pupil eye diameter: Measured with pupilometer. Pupil eye diameter is e.g. a sensitive assessment of the presence of opioids in the CNS and can be correlated to changes in CNS