BMVBS Zoom Conference 2021

The British Microcirculation Society is now the British Microcirculation and Vascular Biology Society and the first ‘meeting’ under the new name kicked-off with an impressive 270 scientists registered.

Keynote speakers, free papers and poster presentations included the usual wide range of topics; a very welcome emphasis on bone physiology added to the mix this year with excellent presentations and images from Prof Claire Clarkin and Aikta Sharma, Southampton; Georgiana Neag, Birmingham; and Prof Ralf Adams, Münster, Germany.

From a Moor Instruments perspective, we were pleased to see and hear about use of our devices in many of the presentations. The moorFLPI laser speckle imager was used for several studies:

On cold induced vascular response in mice to provide knowledge of the time-dependent onset of neuro-vascular dysfunction (Brentton Barrett from KCL);

To validate a new small, flexible ion chamber, suitable for blood flow imaging as illustrated with experiments on mice (Lukas Markwalder, Dundee);

Measures to assess improved revascularisation after ischemia in obese mice, using the hind limb ischaemia model (Musserat Wahid, Nottingham).

With scans of the injured beating heart in the assessment of gender specific changes of the coronary microcirculation (Juma El-awaisi, Birmingham).

Cutaneous microcirculatory dysfunction in peritoneal dialysis patients was studied by Jennifer Williams, Exeter, using laser Doppler imaging to assess responses of post-occlusion reactive hyperaemia and iontophoresis of acetylcholine and sodium nitroprusside.

As part of their investigation on BACE1 activity and impaired angiogenic response in Diabetes (T2D), leading to chronic ulcers, the moorLDI-hind limb ischaemia model was use by Eva Clavane, Leeds.

Several presentations either used laser Doppler or had us wondering is this or the OXY technique might have a role:

Muscle revascularisation and regeneration, aided by a new bio-device, was assessed by in vitro techniques (Juliana Ferreira Floriano, Bauru, Brazil); perhaps LDF/OXY could aid in vivo assessments?

The ‘stroke model’ commonly uses LDF to verify occlusion and either LDF of FLPI imaging to image the superficial brain. Obviously, much deeper, whole brain imaging is beyond these techniques and Prof Joanna Wardlaw, Edinburgh, gave a tour de force on brain imaging with MRI. Assessment of focal and ‘silent’ ischaemia, where visible disease is ‘the tip of the iceberg’. We were also reminded of risk factors for cerebral small vessel disease: age, hypertension, smoking, diabetes, lack of exercise and a diet of too much salt and too little fruit and green veg! The latter three being especially important to cognitive ability and educational attainment for the very young.

The role of exercise for healthy aging was an important message also from Prof Ylva Hellsten, Copenhagen, during a keynote that included factors on the modulation of human skeletal muscle microcirculatory function: activity; ischaemic preconditioning and high sucrose intake. Studies included a wide range of techniques (but not LDI, OXY or NIRS – yet!). We heard that exercise can also oppose impaired vascular function due to menopause – although many might find heat therapy and the shown image of a happy hot-tub group more appealing!

We wish the new combined society all the best and look forward to future meetings!