Our research interests focus on several aspects of vascular biology using a combination of animal models and tissue
culture to investigate the manner in which these disease’s progress, and to examine methods of prevention and treatment.
Using a rabbit model of atherosclerosis developed in our laboratory, we are examining the use of smart contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to distinguish vulnerable plaque from stable plaque. Such contrast agents have the potential to be used diagnostically in patients to determine the likelihood of a cardiac event. This work is being carried out in collaboration with Drs. Brian Rutt and Robert Hegele (Robarts Research Institute) and Dr. Ralf Weissleder (Harvard Medical School). This study is supported by funds from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the National Institutes of Health in the US.
Aortic Valve Sclerosis:
This disease, common in the elderly, cannot be treated, and requires the use of artificial valve replacements to maintain the health of the individual affected. These artificial valves are non-viable, and often must be replaced during the lifetime of the patient. Our laboratory is undertaking the design of a viable valve, potentially using the patients own tissues, to be used as a replacement for diseased valves. Such living valves would have the potential to maintain their function throughout the lifetime of the patient. This work is being carried out in collaboration with Dr. Derek Boughner at the University of Western Ontario, and is supported by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario.
Currently a method for the early diagnosis of Aortic Valve Sclerosis does not exist. Using a rabbit model developed in our laboratory, we are examining the use of MRI to detect early stages of the disease, and to determine if the disease can be reverses. This work is being carried out in collaboration with Drs. Brian Rutt and Maria Drangova (Robarts Research Institute) and Dr. Derek Boughner (Univerisity of Western Ontario). This work is supported by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario.
• Cimini, M., Boughner, D.R., Ronald, J.A., Johnston, D.E. and Rogers, K.A. (2005) Dermal Fibroblasts cultured on small intestinal submucosa: Conditions for the formation of a neo-tissue J. Biomed. Mat. Res. 75: 895-906.
• Ferreira, A.M., McNeil, C.J., Stallaert, K.M., Rogers, K.A. and Sandig, M. (2005) Interleukin 1B reduces transcellular monocyte diapedesis and compromises endothelial adherens junction integrity. Microcirculation 7: 563-579.
• Cimini, M., Boughner, D.R., Ronald, J.A., Aldington, L. and Rogers, K.A. (2005) Development of aortic valve sclerosis in a rabbit model of atherosclerosis: an immunohistochemical and histological study. J. Heart Valve Dis. 14: 365-375.
• Cimini, M., Rogers, K.A. and Boughner D.R. (2003) Smoothelin-positive cells in human and porcine semilunar valves. Histochem. Cell Biol. 120: 307-317.
• Cimini, M., Rogers, K.A. and Boughner D.R. (2002) Aortic valve interstitial cells: an evaluation of cell viability and cell phenotype over time. J. Heart Valve Dis. 11: 881-887.