Mission and Overview

The Environmental Exposure Facility is designed to provide state-of-the-art capabilities for conducting exposures of experimental animals and in vitro models to smoke, gas and vapor phase environmental toxicants. The facility operates under the auspices of the UTMB Sealy Center for Environmental Health and Medicine and is funded, in part, by UTMB institutional commitments. It serves as an institutional service core that provides support to all UTMB investigators and students. In addition, the facility provides a foundation for inter-institution collaborative investigations. The costs to investigators for performing exposures are based on offsetting expenses for facility personnel, equipment maintenance and replacement, animal husbandry, supplies, etc. All exposure protocols must be approved by the UTMB Chemical Safety Committee. If animals are involved, protocols must also receive prior Inter/Intra Institutional IACUC approval.

Inhalation/Exposure Laboratories

  • 800 ft2, 3-room suite
  • Four 0.8 m3 stainless steel Hinnar-type exposure chambers
  • Animal housing room
  • A remote lab for in-vitro cells culture exposure
  • Exposure protocols include
  • Gas phase chemicals including organic chemical vapors such as 1,3-butadiene
  • Pollutants such as ozone, nitrogen dioxide, SO2, and CO
  • Gas concentrations are controlled using mass flow controllers
  • Concentrations are monitored by gas chromatography
  • Concentrations of ozone, nitrogen dioxide, SO2, and CO are monitored by gas-specific meters

Cigarette Smoking/Inhalation

The Jaeger-Baumgartner Cigarette Smoking Machine (with Human Puff Profile Pump capability), is a fully automatic stand alone cigarette smoking device comprised of three main subassemblies, from top to bottom: the smoking machine, the electrical cabinet and a trolley with casters.

Also included is the autoloader with refillable 400+ cigarette capacity, power supply, rolling case and industrial computer unit with integrated display panel (Siemens). The table-top platen groups all mechanical components that are necessary to automatically smoke cigarettes in restricted smoking condition according to ISO 3308 standard.

 

 

 

Airway/Lung Physiology Laboratories

The airway/lung physiology laboratories are comprised of a main lung function laboratory (284 ft2) and a large multi-functional laboratory (788 ft2), with an adjoining cell culture laboratory (291 ft2), complete with 4 cell culture hoods.

Equipment:

  • Whole-body plethysmography (Buxco, Inc.)
  • Lung pressure-flow system (Buxco,Inc)
  • Forced oscillation pressure-flow-volume system (FlexiVent/Sci-REQ)
  • Sinus congestion/volume apparatus
  • NO/CO/CO2 micro-analyzer
  • Nose-only inhalation apparatus (CH Technologies)
  • Low-deadspace whole-body exposure chambers
  • Pressurized lung tissue fixation apparatus
  • Fume hood for volatiles/inhaled anesthetics
  • HEPA-filter hood for allergen inhalation
  • Biological Safety Cabinets and Cell Culture Hoods

Measurements/Techniques:

  • In vivo unanesthetized plethysmography (n=12)
  • In situ lung resistance/compliance
  • Lung dynamic compliance/elastance/resistance
  • Forced-oscillation Flow-volume loops
  • Exhaled NO and CO
  • Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid and cell count
  • Sinus congestion/inflammation
  • Whole lung homogenates and histology
  • BAL/cell/tissue cytokines/chemokines
  • BAL cell and other airway cell culture

A new Scheduling Calendar link has been created at the top of the page so that investigators may plan their experiments when the facilities are available. To schedule a time slot for your experiments, e-mail your request to Request Scheduling.

If you have a need for additional protocols, please contact us at scehm.exposure@utmb.edu so that we can plan them into a future update of the facility.

Contacts

Dr. Bill ameredes

Division Director: Bill Ameredes, M.S., Ph.D.
Phone: 409-772-8104
Email: btamered@utmb.edu

 

 

Dr. Lance hallberg

Facility Manager: Lance Hallberg, M.S., Ph.D.
Phone: 409-772-3797
Email: lmhallbe@utmb.edu