Associate Prof. Andrew Taberner obtained his PhD in physics and electronic engineering in 1999 – skills that he immediately applied to the development of cardiac muscle research instruments with the University of Auckland, New Zealand. He then spent six years as a research fellow and research scientist with the Bioinstrumentation Lab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he developed microcalorimeters for cardiac trabeculae, minaturised mechanical testers for single cardiac myocytes, a nanocalorimeter for drug discovery, and devices for needle free jet injection of drugs.
In 2008, Andrew returned to New Zealand to work with the Bioinstrumentation Laboratory at the University of Auckland’s Bioengineering Institute (ABI). One of his research teams is now developing the Cardiac Myometer – a new instrument in which it is possible to measure simultaneously the force, length, sarcomere length distribution, heat production, intracellular calcium, oxygen consumption, and 3D shape of cardiac trabeculae undergoing realistic work-loops. With the use of this instrument, working-heart apparatus, and body-temperature work-loop calorimeters, the ABI’s Experimental Cardiac Energetics group is now able to probe the energetic efficiency of cardiac muscle preparations at multiple scales. Studies can be performed on an intact heart, and subsequently on trabeculae and single-myocytes obtained from the same heart. Mitocondrial studies are performed on permeabilised specimens in the lab of our Auckland collaborators. Our current research projects address questions of basic science, and also studies on specimens that have been subjected to various pharmacological and pathological interventions.
Abstracts this author is presenting: