CCRF provides a clinical research environment with a core team of research nurses, clinical research coordinators and physiologists with expertise in echocardiography, exercise testing and vascular assessment. In addition, to providing clinical research space and staff support there are additional facilities that can be accessed. These include:
Echocardiography Core Laboratory
CCRF provides support for all aspects of research echocardiography including protocol design, training, data collection and analysis. The Echocardiography core laboratory has four state-of-the-art platforms (Philips) for assessment of cardiac structure and function including 3D imaging, speckle tracking, stress imaging and contrast studies. These are supported by a range of off-line analysis tools, including TomTec software, and a digital image archive. This service is enhanced by integration with an advanced echocardiography research program developed from collaborations between Cardiologists, Cardiac Physiologists, Biomedical Engineers, Computational Biologists and Industry. A newly opened core analysis laboratory (Oxford Research Echocardiography Core Laboratory - ORECL) now provides state-of-the-art echocardiographic imaging interpretation and analysis that can handle echocardiographic images from single investigator pre-clinical studies to global multi-site clinical trials.
Exercise and Vascular Physiology
CCRF provides one of the only fully functional exercise physiology laboratories within the University. The laboratory supports treadmill, exercise bike and cardiorespiratory function assessment as well as capturing data on self- monitored physical activity. Tilt table testing as well as heart rate variability, ECG, ambulatory blood pressure monitoring and vascular assessment are also possible. The laboratory has also a choice of complementary techniques for assessment of both macrovascular and microvascular structure and function including: vascular ultrasound for carotid and peripheral assessment, arterial stiffness assessment, endothelial function testing, venous occlusion plethysmography, capillaroscopy and laser Doppler flowmetry. These resources are used for research projects extending across heart failure studies through to detailed metabolic investigations. CCRF also hosts and leads clinical trials that use exercise as an intervention.
Cardiovascular Research Room
The cardiovascular research room is an invasive procedure laboratory located on Level -1 of the Oxford Heart Centre, also managed through the CCRF. This room is located next to the clinical day case Cardiac Angiography Suite within the Oxford Heart Centre. This facility provides opportunities for studies that require more invasive monitoring.
The scientific laboratory provides facilities for biological sample handling and short- to medium-term storage of samples. It is equipped with centrifuges, -80 oC and -20 oC freezers.
Clinical Trial Work
Since opening, CCRF has supported over 100 studies. A large proportion of the research within the facilities qualifies for support from the NIHR Clinical Research Network because it involves NHS Patients and is funded by charities or governmental research organisations. These studies are registered on the national NIHR Research Portfolio and a team of research nurses, data co-ordinators and clinical research assistants have time allocated to support cardiovascular portfolio studies. We can provide expertise on protocol design, data collection and analysis, patient recruitment and more.