Auckland Bioengineering Institute

Measuring whole-heart energetics

An instrumented rat heart.

The ABI has assembled and developed instrumentation for studying the energy-efficiency of intact working hearts under a variety of conditions. With this apparatus, we can measure the pressure and volume of the heart’s left ventricle, together with the flow of fluid and oxygen in and out of the heart, on a beat-by-beat basis. This method allows us insight into the energy consumed and work performed by a healthy or diseased heart as it drives against a variable pressure load.

Our Experimental Cardiac Energetics research group use this equipment to study the effect of diabetes, high blood pressure, and an Omega-3-rich diet on heart efficiency. Following these experiments, individual muscles are removed from the heart and studied in our work-loop calorimeter (and soon, our Cardiac Myometer). Finally, individual cells from the same heart can be assessed in our patch-clamp apparatus.

Researchers and graduate students


Soyeon Goo, PhD candidate (2009 to 2014)

Funding partners

  • Vice-Chancellors Strategic Development Fund, The University of Auckland
  • Faculty Research Development Fund, The University of Auckland