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Experimental Models Core

The Experimental Models Core, managed by Esdras Arrieta Quintero, provides technical services and consultation for vision investigators in research using experimental models with operating rooms and specialized equipment for performing procedures. It also provides technical trainings for procedures commonly used in vision research, including intravitreal, subretinal, intracameral, Intrastromal, and retro orbital injections. Trainings are also provided for use of  special equipment (see below).

The Experimental Models Core is supported by NEI Core Center Grant P30 EY014801. All publications of research work should cite the NEI Center Grant number.

Leadership & Management

Rong Wen, M.D. Ph.D., Professor of Ophthalmology, directs the Experimental Models Core. Esdras Arrieta Quintero manages the core.


The Experimental Models Core is in the vivarium on the 3rd floor of the McKnight building. The vivarium is supervised by the Division of Veterinary Resources (DVR). It has 19 separate rooms, with a Vet Tech Facility Manager and 5 full-time technicians.


Procedure and Prep Rooms
The Experimental Models Core has two sterile operating rooms (OR), equipped with ceiling mounted surgical microscopes with video and computer data acquisition systems. Adjacent are a scrub room, a sterilization and instrument room, and a preparation room, which can also be used as a recovery room for post-operative recovery care.

Retinal Photography & Angiography
Fundus photography and fluorescein angiography can be captured by the video camera, digital recorder and monitor fitted to each operating microscope in the two ORs.

Several lasers are available for ophthalmic applications, including argon, YAG, sapphire and diode lasers. They can be mounted either on slit lamps or microscopes. These lasers can be used for anterior-segment procedures such as laser iridotomy, selective laser trabeculoplasty, and capsulotomy; and posterior-segment procedures as capsulotomies on all types of intraocular lenses (IOL), laser-induced choroid neovascularization, and to generate photo-disruptive blast injuries for glaucoma studies, and traumatic optic neuropathy.

The core also provides an ERG system (LKC UTAS Visual Diagnostic System with BigShot Ganzfeld) for flash ERG recording. In addition, a custom built pattern ERG (PERG) system is available or PERG recording. The PERG system is supervised by Dr. Porciatti. Investigators should contact Porciatti’s lab to arrange for PERG related studies.

Retinal Imaging
A Bioptigen SD-OCT (spectral domain-Optical Coherence Tomography) system is available for imaging in experimental models. This system is capable of high-resolution (~3 m axial) 3D imaging of small animals. It collects 3D volumes at very high-speed (> 17 FPS), enabling real-time, non-invasive imaging.

In addition, a Heidelberg HRA2 (Heidelberg Retina Angiograph II) is provided to investigators. This is a confocal laser scanning system for digital fluorescein, indocyanine green angiography, blue and infrared reflectance imaging, autofluorescence, stereo and widefield Imaging, as well as 3D scanning.

Cigarette Smoking Chamber
The core has a custom built chamber for delivery of cigarette smoke to experimental models. This unit is placed in a dedicated room and is available to investigators who want to study smoking related diseases.

Note: To request Shared Equipment, please complete the Online Reservation Form

For more information, please contact:

Esdras Arrieta Quintero
Associate Scientist



McKnight Building, 3rd floor