heart research

Innovation Centre

The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute Innovation Centre is heralding a medical research revolution in our search to solve the unsolved.  Proudly supported by the NSW Government, the Innovation Centre gives researchers access to state-of-the-art equipment and cutting-edge technologies, including; 

  • MRI scanners 
  • Mass spectrometers
  • Micro-CT 
  • iPSC automated robotics 
  • Cryo-electron microscope

The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute Innovation Centre is pushing the boundaries of knowledge by facilitating a new era of collaboration between researchers across the state, around Australia and the Asia Pacific, transforming the landscape of cardiovascular research.

This equipment is accelerating the opportunities of discovering cures for heart disease, and bringing us closer to realising precision or “personalised” medicine of the future, which has only ever been imagined before.

What’s inside the
Innovation Centre?

1. Cardiovascular Stem Cell Facility

The Cardiovascular Stem Cell Facility utilises the most advanced robotic technologies for generation and maintenance of skin or blood cells that have been reprogrammed from stem cells (iPSC), including heart cells. The Cell Function & Screening unit is a high-throughput Phenotyping hub that allows scientists to screen drugs to identify the best therapy for individual patients with cardiovascular disease. Read more.

2. Micro Imaging Facility

Specialising in the three-dimensional imaging and analysis, the Micro Imaging Facility features cutting-edge microscopes enabling non-destructive scanning of small samples up to five times faster, revolutionizing the field by cutting imaging time from hours to minutes. The Micro Imaging Facility provides unprecedented real-time insight into the formation of organs, while helping researchers detect heart and other birth defects. Read more.

3. Metabolomics Facility

State-of-the-art liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry systems in the Metabolomics Facility are capable of measuring between one and several thousand metabolites simultaneously in a single sample, and up to hundreds of samples per day, in our bid to better understand the mechanisms and causes of cardiovascular disease.

Regarded as the final part of the biological jigsaw, metabolomics can provide insight to the pathophysiology of cardiovascular disease at the biochemical level. This will pave the way for predictive/diagnostic markers as well as possible therapeutic targets. Read more. 

4. Preclinical Imaging Facility

The Preclinical Imaging Facility combines two dual-modality molecular imaging platforms: a FLECT-CT with fluorescence tomography (FLECT) and X-ray computed tomography (CT); and a PET-MRI that merges positron emission tomography (PET) with magnetic resonance (MR) imaging for the non-invasive and in vivo study of animal models longitudinally, which is crucial to observing changes to organs, tissues, cells or molecules. Read more.

5. Clinical Imaging Facility

Our purpose-built Clinical Imaging Facility  features a state-of-the-art MRI machine enabling advanced applications for the diagnosis and characterisation of heart function and disease. This Facility is embedded within Australia’s first dedicated cardiac imaging hub, the Advanced Cardiac Imaging Centre at St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, which is also equipped with the most advanced CT technology. Read more.

6. Cryo-electron Microscopy Facility

The Cryo-electron Microscopy Facility is a leading research platform for biological electron microscopy.  Providing unprecedented insights into cardiovascular disease, HIV and Alzheimer’s, this microscope gives researchers an atomic-level understanding of how cells divide and produce new cells, which is critical to the future development of antibiotics to fight superbugs.

Located within the Electron Microscope Unit at UNSW Sydney, the 240,000-times magnification instrument is Sydney’s first, fitted with next generation highly sensitive cameras, which gives 3D insights into frozen macromolecular structures, cellular components, cells and tissues with never-before-seen clarity. Read more.