APS Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology

Current Approaches for Measuring Respiratory Activity in Animals: Recognizing and Avoiding Common Pitfalls

Workshop — Thursday, April 22, 2021 — 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM — Virtual Session, Room Zoom Meeting URL TBA
Techniques Workshop Program — Chair: David Fuller — Co-Chair: Melissa Bates

This session will focus on theoretical and practical aspects of techniques used to measure breathing and associated physiological variables in unanesthetized adult and neonatal animals. Dr. MacFarlane will discuss technical aspects of whole body plethysmography, a commonly used approach that indirectly measures changes in lung volume in adult animals, but which can be prone to error if variables such as ambient temperature, body temperature, humidity and other variables are not measured or accounted for. Dr. Cummings will discuss how pneumotachography can be applied to neonatal rats and mice for the direct measurement of airflow, as well as how this whole-body plethysmography and pneumotachographic techniques can be modified for measuring cardiovascular variables and state of vigilance. Dr. Bates will discuss how whole-body plethysmography can be used to measure metabolic rate and arterial sampling. Dr. Ray will discuss overall experimental design and considerations with respect to challenges with applying various genetic models (genetic loss of function, chemogenetic and optogenetic models) to plethysmography studies. Dr. Sunshine will discuss how information can be extracted from the plethysmographic waveform for pattern analysis, and how these data can be used for predicative purposes.

This workshop will be held outside the EB 2021 Virtual Meeting platform and will be free for all however you must register. URL to be provided. 


  • The Do’s and Don’ts of Whole Body Plethysmography
    Peter MacFarlane — Pediatrics, Case Western Reserve University

  • Utility of Approaches for Measuring Variables Associated with Breathing
    Kevin James Cummings — Biomedical Sciences, University of Missouri, College of Veterinary Medicine

  • Precision and Pitfalls in Respiratory Studies
    Russell Scott Ray — Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine

  • Beyond Breathing: Additional Variables in Measuring Ventilatory Control
    Melissa Bates — Health and Human Physiology, University of Iowa

  • Assessment of Plethysmography Waveforms: Beyond Rate and Volume
    Michael D. Sunshine — Physical Therapy, University of Florida

  • Session Chair
    David Fuller — Department of Physical Therapy, University of Florida

  • Session Co-Chair
    Melissa Bates — Health and Human Physiology, University of Iowa

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