Director, Shawn Bengsten, McGowan Center for Preclinical Studies (CPCS)
The University of Pittsburgh is well equipped with facilities and resources to help innovators progress through the pre-clinical phase of research. MPWRM innovators will have access to the McGowan Center for Preclinical Studies (CPCS) which is dedicated to supporting animal research. The CPCS was established to provide members of academia and industry with state-of-the-art facilities for proof-of-concept translational research in medical device and other regenerative medicine areas. In addition, the Center provides manufacturer-approved surgical training for implantation of medical devices such as artificial hearts, and ventricular assist and orthopedic device and conducts scientific and engineering assessments of devices and procedures prior to their translation to the clinic.
The animal is equipped to house up to seven large animals in quarantine with regular housing post-quarantine, either individually or communally. There is a large open surgical prep and stat area which is capable of providing routine blood gas and hematocrit values for test subjects. Additional biological testing is done offsite at contracted veterinary diagnostic laboratories. There are two large animal operating suites, one of which also serves as a necropsy suite, meeting the requirements of a modern clinical OR. A fully staffed Intensive Care / Observation area is capable of long-term post-operative care with monitoring provided 24 hours a day, 365 days a year as needed. Small animals are housed in four isolated cubicles with a dedicated adjacent prep/surgery room. Surgical assistance and post-op monitoring is performed by highly skilled and trained members of the CPCS staff and is overseen by University of Pittsburgh veterinarians.
The CPCS Facility includes:
- Quarantine Rooms
- Surgical Stat and Surgical Prep Area
- A Main Operating Suite fully equipped surgical facility meeting the requirements of a modern clinical OR with capabilities including fluoroscopy, ultrasound, advanced life support and patient monitoring systems
- An Intensive Care / Study Conduct Adjacent to the Main Operating Suit and Stat Lab, this area is dedicated to long-term care and treatment of implanted and critically ill animals. Located centrally with direct visual access to these rooms, a monitoring/nursing station is manned by trained Critical Care/Veterinary Technicians supporting round the clock critical care, treatments, monitor vital signs, and collect study specific data 24 hours a day, 365 days a year per study requirements.
- Necropsy Suit with fully equipped operating room intended for device explantation, tissue collection and full necropsy.
- Data Archiving Facility that is a secure facility with limited access (assigned Archivist by Facility Management) is maintained for the preservation of raw study data, study protocols, approved and validated ”original” standard operation procedures (current and historical), study personnel training and qualification record and all pertinent documentation related to study conduction. As required by the standard operating procedures entailing Data Archive maintenance, all documentation, once submitted to the Archive, is catalogued and accessed through documented request to the Archivist or as otherwise specified by Test Facility Management.
In addition, innovators will have access to a second pre-clinical facility which is maintained by the University of Pittsburgh, Division of Laboratory Animal Resources (DLAR) staff and is equipped to house both large and small animals in barrier facilities. There are 17 rodent housing rooms with 10 dedicated procedure rooms. Large animals are housed in several large rooms that can be adapted to function as quarantine or regular housing as required. The rooms have pens that can be modified to allow for either individual or communal housing as needed. In addition to the large animal rooms there are two rooms dedicated to rabbits, ferrets and/or cats. There is a surgical prep room with two large animal operating suites meeting the requirements of a modern clinical OR. Adjacent to the surgical suites is a large post-operative observation room and a dedicated necropsy room. Surgical assistance and post-op monitoring is performed by highly skilled and trained members of the DLAR surgical support staff supplemented by CPCS staff as needed and is overseen by University of Pittsburgh veterinarians.
Animals are housed within two locations at the University of Pittsburgh. Both facilities are capable of housing large and small animals, with sufficient space for in-coming quarantine, general housing, surgery and post-operative observation. Approximately 11,700 square feet has been allocated for these functions. The building environmental conditions meet or exceed the requirements specified by the University of Pittsburgh’s IACUC office. The animal housing areas are subject to routine inspections by University of Pittsburgh’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) and USDA staff and are fully AAALAC certified. Species ranging from rodents to sheep, cows, and sub-human primates can be accommodated at these facilities