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Using Flow to Improve Cardiac Models for Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)

With Quasi Vivo®, Kirkstall’s flow system, you can co-culture multiple cell types either in one chamber or within a connected system. This is ideal for creating more complex organ models, such as cardiac.



Quasi Vivo® Cardiac Models
  • In 2008, 17.3 million people died from CVD worldwide and by 2030, an estimated >23 million people will die from CVD
  • CVD accounts for more than 50% of deaths in Europe
  • Current CVD research uses 2D static laboratory condition and only one or two target cells. This neglects the many dynamics and interactions between key cells, often leading to an oversimplification of results.
Quasi Vivo® is an easy to use, interconnected flow system. The flexible design allows for multiple configurations depending on the needs of the experiment.


  •  Quasi Vivo® QV500 chambers and accessories: tubing, reservoir bottles
  • Parker 2 head peristaltic pump
  • Co culture of:
    • Endothelial cells (HCMEC)
    • Smooth muscle cells (HCASMC)
    • Cardiomyocytes (CM)
QV500 product
Quasi Vivo® Parker 2 head pump


In collaboration with Manchester Metropolitan University, Kirkstall have developed a 3D tri-culture cardiac model. MMU successfully co-cultured cells in each set up of the system, however found there were more viable endothelial cells when co-cultured in one chamber compared to connected monocultures. Data to be published soon
Quasi Vivo® example set up
A schematic diagram showing three Quasi Vivo® chambers each containing one cell type
Quasi Vivo® example set up with 1 chamber
A schematic diagram showing all three cell types in one chamber.


  • Tri-culture medium developed and established
  • Improved spread of endothelial cells in tri-culture
  • Cells in 3D tri-culture organise into distinct areas
  • Cardiac cells in 3D tri-culture can be maintained for seven days in flow

The effect of Doxorubicin on a cardio model was investigated to see if a three cell type co-culture and a system with flow gives different results to in static conditions. The reported IC50 for cells cultured on coverslips in 2D was 0.5 nm, while 3D cells with flow was approximately 50 nm. There was a 10 fold increase in IC50 from 2D static, to 3D static, to 2D flow, to 3D flow.

Diclofenac IC50 Using Quasi Vivo®


Dose-response curve using rat primary hepatocytes when exposed to the NSAID diclofenac in Quasi Vivo® flow chambers and in static conditions. Graph shows difference in reported IC50 in static and flow conditions, with flow being a better representative of the in vivo IC50. Data from Vozzi & Ahluwalia, University of Pisa. We have also seen this trend in other cell types.


Quasi Vivo® provides a complete system for the advancement of cardiovascular models. Along with our flow systems and pumps, we also provide a complete training and support package to help you through your experiments, from planning to execution.

Quasi Vivo® is compatible with many 3D cell culture protocols, and can be integrated into your laboratory with ease.

This advanced in vitro technique is physiologically relevant, making your data more applicable to the human situation.

Quasi Vivo®, used in 100+ labs worldwide, getting started is easy and cost effective!

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    Address: Kirkstall, Ltd York House,
    Outgang Lane, York
    North Yorkshire, YO19 5UP

    Phone: + 44 (0) 1709 361 241

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