WHAT IS VASOTRACKER?
VasoTracker is an open source pressure myograph system for assessing vasoactivity in isolated blood vessels
Pressure myography is the gold standard technique for assessing both endothelial cell and smooth muscle cell function. The system uses video microscopy techniques to track the diameter of pressurised blood vessels. So whether your lab is interested in assessing smooth muscle contraction or endothelium-dependent vasodilation, the pressure myograph is an essential piece of equipment.
A while ago, we wanted to set up a new pressure myograph in the lab (check us out here). Being such a useful technique, there are a number of different commercial myograph packages available. So we were quite surprised at how expensive even the most primitive systems were. A little frustrated, we instead developed VasoTracker.
VasoTracker is robust and it works very well. Best of all, a complete system cost us less than 10% of what we were quoted by one of the leading commercial suppliers (we won't say who!). We thought that others might also like to benefit from VasoTracker, so we decided to make everything (our hardware designs, our software, and instructions for setting everything up) freely available. It is also open source, which means that we have documented the system in detail and users are free to modify it in any way.
A CHEAP PRESSURE MYOGRAPH?
Yes, VasoTracker is an inexpensive way to set up a pressure myograph in your lab. But don't let a desire to spend lots of money put you off. The complete VasoTracker pressure myograph system includes everything you need: a heated vessel chamber, temperature controller, pressure monitor, microscope, computer, and data acquisition/analysis software. We have even shown that VasoTracker performs just as well (if not better) than a leading commercial pressure myograph system (see our companion paper).
Sourcing and putting together the hardware couldn’t be easier – we provide complete component lists and full instructions on how to set up the different components of the system. To get started on building the system, head to our Hardware page.
The video below shows VasoTracker in action, tracking the inner and outer diameter of a pressurised blood vessel. Check out our software page for more details.