In CUPIDO, the formulation developed within the project shall be tested for pre-clinical efficacy in large animals. As such, mini pigs are used to test first, i) if the inhaled nanoparticles show sufficient cardiac enrichment and then ii) if the drug-loaded nanoparticles restore the normal cardiac activity in a model of systolic heart failure (heart failure with reduced ejection fraction or HFrEF).
All the tests are conducted at the facility of Charité – University Medicine Berlin, while the company LIFE designed and developed a dedicated wearable device to non-invasively measure several physiological parameters on mini-pigs.
Partners at Charité and LIFE worked closely to understand the usage scenario and the functional requirements for the device. Together, they have already performed the early tests and the official evaluation of the measurements on healthy, untreated mini pigs. The quality of the acquired data is good, and the device should be able to detect the cardiopulmonary activity during the daily activities of the mini pigs. Indeed, the animals wore the device while they were free to sit or walk around the laboratory. The visit to facilities at Ellegaard, the mini pig developer and distributor, has been useful to collect information on the animal habits and improve the usability of the garments.