New cardiac cycle monitoring methods open opportunities in pet monitoring and drug development

Cardiac cycle is one of the most important health measures not only for humans but also animals. Although this is a well studied phenomenon, new measurement concepts open opportunities to better understand the well being of pets or faster and more accurate cardiac drug development without having to use animal testing.

Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of human deaths in the Western countries. Also, the treatment of these diseases is very expensive. Cardiovascular toxicity is the second major reason for discontinuation of drug development or withdrawal of a drug from the market. Furthermore, in European market chemical toxicity to the heart function is a standard information requirement for all chemicals (industrial chemicals, biocides, agrochemicals etc).

In this work M.Sc. (Tech) Juhani Virtanen has studied and developed two new approaches for cardiac cycle monitoring. Firstly, the performance of dry biopotential electrodes in canine electrocardiogram (ECG) measurement was evaluated mimicking everyday use. The second main objective of the thesis was to study the cardiac construct contraction force measurement in-vitro conditions with piezoelectric measurement probes.

“The performance of dry biopotential electrodes was found to have potential to enable 24/7 ECG monitoring for dogs”, Juhani Virtanen says.

According to Tuula Heinonen, Ph.D., Director of Finnish Centre of Alternative Methods (FICAM), “Better and more relevant tools than the present ones currently available are urgently needed in drug development to predict cardiovascular effects in humans.”

Juhani Virtanen is living in Tampere and currently working in the Institute of BioMediTech at Faculty of Medicine and Health technology at Tampere University.

The doctoral dissertation of M.Sc. Juhani Virtanen in the field of Biomedical Sciences and Engineering titled Development of Measurement Concepts for Canine Dry Electrode Electrocardiogram and Human Cardiac Construct Contraction Force Measurements will be publicly examined in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology at Tampere University at 12 o’clock on Friday 21 August 2020. The Opponent will be Professor Dr. Gijs Krijnen, University of Twente, The Netherlands. The Custos will be Professor Sampo Tuukkanen, Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology.

Due to the coronavirus situation, public defences are organized via digital platform at Tampere University.

The dissertation is available online at: http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-03-1597-9