Research Wish List

The Heart Research Institute is in need of funding support across a wide variety of areas, including research projects, equipment and fellowships. 

Examples of our funding needs are listed below, however these are subject to change. Please ask us to confirm their availability at the time of your donation.

Our Wish List..

FUNDING NEED 1: SARTORIUS ELECTRONIC PIPETTES - $2500 (multiple)

Pipettes are used routinely in every laboratory to transfer and accurately measure out small quantities of liquid. The ability to do this underpins almost all laboratory procedures and it is no exaggeration to say that much of our work would be impossible without access to pipettes. Electronic rather than manual pipettes are critical for the highly repetitive liquid handling required for many of our laboratory procedures, to ensure accuracy of the results and reduce the risk of repetitive strain injury (RSI), which is an increasing problem for our scientists. The Sartorius pipettes are highly accurate and precise, and are lightweight with superior ergonomics. They have multiple pipetting modes and a wide volume range and have a number of special functions for increased reproducibility.

FUNDING NEED 2: NUCLEOFECTOR TRANSFECTION UNIT - $24,000

Generously Donated

Transfection is a powerful analytical tool to study gene function and regulation together with protein function, and can provide valuable insight into the key pathways involved in the development of disease. The Nucleofection Transfection Unit momentarily creates small pores in cell membranes by applying an electrical pulse (electroporation), which enables the introduction of nucleic acids (DNA / RNA) into cells.

FUNDING NEED 3: DIGITAL ELECTROSPINNER - $70,000

Generously Donated by the Australian Stockbrokers Foundation and Bulls & Bears Golf Day 2015

The Digitial Electrospinner uses a high voltage electric charge to transform polymer and proteins into dry fibers, let than one micrometer in diameter. Borrowed from the textile industry, this process now has wide use in the biomaterials sector for manufacture of synthetic scaffolds and implantable materials. This technology enables the production of synthetic tissue mimicking the human anatomy, including skin and blood vessels.

FUNDING NEED 4: FLOWJO FLOW CYTOMETRY SOFTWARE - $5,000

Flow cytometry is used routinely in the diagnosis of health disorders and is used extensively at the HRI to study changes in the nature and composition of blood cells in patients with cardiovascular disease, and to examine perturbations in vascular cell function during the development of fatty lesions in atherosclerosis. At HRI we have flow cytometry instruments from several manufacturers and what FlowJo brings is the ability to analyze data generated by any flow cytometer from any manufacturer, improving reproducibility and enabling many specialized analyses not possible with existing software. This powerful software has the added advantage of allowing multiple users to analyse their data concurrently on any PC. This software will be used by the majority of groups at the HRI, and will facilitate a faster and more powerful analysis of flow cytometry data. Without the software, analysis is only possible on the machine being used to acquire the data, which dramatically reduces throughput and productivity.

FUNDING NEED 5: LC-20AD SOLVENT DELIVERY UNIT FOR HIGH PERFORMANCE LIQUID CHROMATOGRAPHY (HPLC) - $10,000 ( 2 required)

High Performance Liquid Chromatography or HPLC, is a technique in analytical chemistry used to separate, identify, and quantify complex mixtures of components, including different biological molecules, drugs, and disease markers. The solvent delivery system is a pump that passes a pressurized liquid (solvent) containing the sample mixture through a column, which interacts with each component in the sample. The LC-20AD Unit has an automatic pulsation-correction function and high-speed micro plunger drive system that enables pulse-free solvent delivery, which improves the baseline, resolution and sensitivity of the HPLC system. HPLC is used routinely at the HRI by the scientists. The current pumps are almost 20 years old, highly unreliable and introduce significant background readings that reduces sensitivity and complicates the analysis - risking the loss of valuable data.

FUNDING NEED 6: LASER DOPPLER BLOOD FLOW MONITOR – moorVMS-LDF - $20,000

Stroke is one of Australia’s biggest killers and a leading cause of disability. This devastating disease is caused by the blockage of blood vessels that supply the brain, leading to brain damage. Therapies for stroke require restoration of blood flow to the brain, which can be measured using a Laser Doppler Blood Flow Monitor. This Unit monitors the changes in blood flow throughout the brain tissue and will allow the testing of potential new therapies for stroke by assessing their impact on restoring blood flow. This equipment would be used extensively by several research groups at the HRI as it can also be used for other investigations, including in the examination of the restoration of blood flow due to angiogenesis, and new blood vessel growth.

FUNDING NEED 7: LASER DOPPLER MOORLD12-HIR - $115,000

Generously Donated by the ASX Thomson Reuters Charity Foundation 2016

A laser doppler is used to measure blood flow, in real-time within living tissue. By simply shining the laser on the skin surface, the amount and speed of blood flow can be very precisely measured. This equipment facilitates the study of disease states characterised by reduced blood flow to the limbs, including diabetes and vascular disease and supports the development of treatments to encourage new blood vessel formation.

FUNDING NEED 8: MULTISIZER 3 COULTER COUNTER - $50,000

A Coulter counter is used for counting and sizing particles, including living cells. Coulter counters have been used to diagnose a variety of diseases, and are used routinely to measure the red and white blood cell counts, and are the most reliable laboratory method for accurately counting and characterising human cells. The Multisizer 3 Unit can accurately measure the properties of particles across a wide range of sizes so would also be incredibly valuable for non-cellular applications, including nanoparticle characterization. This unit will be used extensively by many of our scientists across several research groups.

FUNDING NEED 9: INVERTED MICROSCOPE - $50,000

The inverted microscope is all about monitoring live samples at high magnification in real time. On an inverted microscope the optical lenses that form the image of the sample are located beneath the sample. This gives great latitude in the type of container that the sample can be placed in and will allow our researchers to use conditions conducive to maintaining their sample in a live state: thus monitoring changes and processes in real time under more physiological conditions. The ability to understand the effects of any intervention on the living cell is critical to our understanding of heart disease and the development of new therapies.

FUNDING NEED 10: VIBRATING MICROTOME - $50,000

The ability to look inside tissues and cells is central to improving our understanding of the processes that occur during disease development. Microtomes expose the interior of cell and tissue samples by cutting them into very thin slices - known as sections - which can then be analysed using various forms of microscopy. The unique feature of a vibrating microtome is that it uses a vibrating blade which will allow our researchers to cut sections whilst applying far less pressure to the sample than would be the case for a fixed-blade microtome. Our researchers will gain the ability to investigate very delicate samples and to look at healthy and diseased tissue with a minimum of additional processing, more closely preserving the natural structure and form of the material.

FUNDING NEED 11: HOLLOW CATHODE MAGNETRON - $60,000

HRI scientists use plasma, the fourth state of matter, generated under high vacuum and high voltage conditions to make the surfaces of implantable vascular devices such as stents more compatible with the living tissues of their recipients. A hollow cathode magnetron harnesses and focuses the high energy generated in the plasma chambers, helping to provide uniform coating of 3-dimensional objects, which is of particular benefit in the generation of improved stents. The “plasma activated coating” reduces the blood clotting associated with bare metal stents, and improves the process of regrowth of damaged tissue that is critical to healing.

 

FUNDING NEED 12: UPRIGHT FLUORESCENSE RESEARCH MICROSCOPE - $100,000

The upright fluorescence microscope is an essential tool in modern medical and biological research and will be used widely and extensively by our researchers. It will give us the ability to examine, track and record events occurring inside tissues and cells by providing up to 100 times magnification of objects, allowing the collection of detailed information about disease processes at the cellular and molecular level. With the added ability to detect fluorescent probes, this type of microscope will enable our researchers to identify and examine particular cells within a tissue and even particular structures and molecules within a cell. The microscope will produce incredible images that will provide invaluable insights into the cellular and molecular processes underlying heart disease.

FUNDING NEED 13: ZETASIZER NANO Z+ - $155,000

The Zetasizer Nano is a specialised piece of equipment that is used to measure several of the characteristics of particles suspended in liquid. This type of analysis  has several applications in biological and medical research and of particular interest to our researchers is  the  use of the instrument for characterising Nanoparticles. Nanoparticles have a wide range of uses in research, diagnosis, and treatment of disease. For example, they can be used to detect and label important biological markers for research and diagnosis or as drug delivery systems or gene delivery systems in gene therapy applications. The physical and chemical properties of nanoparticles are important factors in how they work and by enabling our researchers to obtain a detailed characterisation of these properties, the Zetasizer will provide an invaluable contribution to the future of our research in the exciting field of nanotechnology.

For more information on our Wish List please email support@hri.org.au