Porcine Research Applications

ABI Live Animal & Tissue Research Applications


Cardiovascular Anatomy and Physiology:

Swine are used increasingly in cardiovascular research because of their similarities to humans in their function, size, anatomy and the perfusion distribution of blood flow. Porcine arteries, in particular, are used for designing stents for human application, the same is true for all types of blood vessel engineering methods. Atherosclerosis and myocardial infarctions occur and progress similarly in pigs as they do in humans. The size, structure and function of porcine hearts is applicable to ex vivo heart models and emergency procedures. Pig valves have been used for decades as replacements of damaged human heart valves.

Respiratory Anatomy and Physiology:

Although having a different number of lung lobes as humans, pigs are a close replica for all types of respiratory testing including neonatal respiratory distress, artificial lung research and translational research in areas such as medical device development, therapeutics and xenotransplantation.

Gut Physiology and Nutrition:

The porcine gut, being so similar in structure and function to its human counterparts is the ideal model for studying stomach and intestinal structure and metabolism. Obesity, probiotics and the immunological basis of allergies make good use of the pig model in biomedical research.

Transplantation Research:

Because of its similarity to humans in immune function, the pig has been one of the most useful models for cell and organ transplants as well as xenotransplantation. In addition the pig is a most useful model in the field of bio therapeutics, a science that integrates nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals and informatics to advance human medicine for preventing and treating autoimmune and metabolic diseases.

Reproductive Physiology:

The pig is an ideal model for the study of maternal-fetal interactions via placental transfer. The pig is also a useful model for studying human embryo development as well as sperm physiology.

Skin Anatomy and Physiology:

Porcine skin has been shown to be the most similar to human skin of all animal models. It is structurally similar to human epidermal thickness and dermal-epidermal thickness ratios. Pigs and humans have similar hair follicle and blood vessel patterns in the skin. Pig skin wounds heal by re-epithelialization so they are especially useful for human wound studies which has been the basis for wound healing, transdermal delivery, dermal toxicology and especially UVB radiation. The pig has also been one of the standard plastic surgery models for decades. Pigs are important in studying percutaneous permeation, contact dermatitis and melanomas.

Brain Anatomy and Physiology:

The pig model has come to the forefront in biomedical research as the pig brain is closer in size, structure and composition to the human brain making it an ideal model for studying TBI (traumatic brain injury) pathophysiology and functional outcomes. The pig brain is very useful in the study of human strokes, focal cerebral ischemia, dementia and multinucleated giant cell formation. Pig brains are additionally used in the study of drug binding sites and interactions.

Tissue Engineering and Biomechanical Research:

The pig model has been increasingly used to study the musculoskeletal system, including specific joints, such as the knee and temporomandibular joints as well as other tissues, such as bone, cartilage and ligaments. Pigs have been used to evaluate the role of the skeleton on the biomechanics and engineered replacements of these joints and tissues. Also pigs have been used for years in studying cartilage repair, spinal fusion, lens capsule repairs, osteoporosis and imaging techniques.



The Value of Animal Growth Charts in Biomedical Research

Our porcine growth chart allows clients to know the expected rate (average daily gain) of growth over time of our Yorkshire cross bred swine herd at all ages.