Development of a high-performance anesthesia ventilator for research in small animals

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Abstract

Introduction:

Small animal models are used extensively in basic research because of their low cost and possibility to mimic several human pathologies. These models are used to either analyze the underlying mechanisms and/or assess therapeutic approaches. In this respect, gentle and safe artificial ventilation is mandatory, especially for prolonged experimental procedures that require the survival of the animals. The aim of the present paper was to develop and validate a high-performance anesthesia ventilator for small animals.

Methods:

A pressure-controlled ventilator with assisted ventilation and deep breath modulated on a scheduled basis and a PEEP facility for an improved anesthetic management was developed. Parameters of acid-base balance and arterial blood gases were measured initially at the end of arterial catheterization and monitored throughout the experiment.

Results:

Our data show the following average values (mmHg) for pO2: 440 +/- 45 (initial), 378 +/- 24 (2 h), 373 +/- 22 (4 h), and 375 +/- 28 (6 h) and for pCO2: 35 +/- 3 (initial), 34 +/- 5 (2 h), 38 +/- 5 (4 h), and 40 +/- 6 (6 h), respectively.

Conclusions:

We describe the procedure for the manufacture of a reliable, high-performance anesthesia ventilator that facilitates recovery of spontaneous respiration at animal arousal with preservation of normal blood gases values and no damage to the lungs.

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