Bristol CardioVascular Facilities

BHI Hospital

The new Bristol Heart Institute Hospital, opened by the Princess Royal in May 2009, is a £61 million centre that unites outstanding clinical care with cutting edge research.  It brings together cardiology and cardiac surgery, as well as a full primary angioplasty service and comprehensive, integrated tertiary and secondary adult congenital cardiac service, thus delivering a full range of diagnostic and interventional treatments for all heart conditions.  The outstanding clinical services facilities are combined with the latest cardiac imaging and research facilities enabling world-leading cardiac research to be carried out at the highest possible standard.

BRU in Cardiovascular Disease

The BRU is one of just five UK centres funded by NIHR to specifically translate cardiovascular research into improved patient care, making use of the adult clinical facilities within the Bristol Heart Institute Hospital and paediatric clinical facilities within the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children. These include three dedicated cardiac surgery operating theatres and a further hybrid theatre; echo- and electrocardiography (ECG); chest x-ray; exercise ECG and ambulatory ECG monitoring; three catheter laboratories with angiography, angioplasty and intravascular ultrasound; and a dedicated electrophysiology laboratory with both conventional and electro-spatial mapping facilities.

Imaging facilities

Wolfson Bioimaging Facility

A unique fully-integrated suite of electron microscopes, confocal and epifluorescence microscopes allow researchers to explore the fundamental aspects of biology and to dissect the molecular basis of human diseases. The facility supports several important research areas including cell biology, nanotechnology and toxicology. It is also set up for live cell imaging and correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM).

Clinical Research Imaging Centre (CRIC)

CRIC Bristol provides key facilities for clinicians and academics to deliver cutting-edge research and improved patient care in areas such as neonatal brain injury, sleep disorders in children, cardiac imaging and diabetes. This includes a Siemens 3T Magnetom MRI Scanner, a Sleep Studies suite and clinical rooms. Uniquely, CRIC Bristol is purpose-built to accommodate studies on babies, children and adults, with provision for both inpatients and healthy volunteers.

Clinical Trials

If you are not sure which of these four clinical trial support partners you need, complete an application form and submit to Bristol Research Support Partners.

Research Design Service - South West

The Research Design Service (RDS) is part of the infrastructure of the National Institute for Health Research. The RDS - South West is one of several regional services around the country making up the national RDS. The RDS exists to provide help for people preparing research proposals for submission to peer-reviewed funding competitions for applied health or social care research. The RDS essentially consists of a team of people based in universities and the NHS across the South West, able to advise and provide practical support when you are developing your grant application. As the RDS is funded by the NIHR for this purpose, such help is provided free of charge.

Clinical Trials and Evaluation Unit (CTEU)

The Unit carries out a wide range of activities, including: studies to evaluate the effects of treatments and risk factors in patients with cardiovascular disease; methodological research to improve the way in which evaluations are conducted; studies to quantify the effects of treatment and risk factors include both randomised controlled trials (RCTs); observational studies.

Bristol Randomised Trial Collaboration (BRTC)

The Bristol Randomised Trials Collaboration (BRTC) conducts trials in both primary and secondary care settings, and in many different disease areas, including mental health, diabetes, child health, and cancer. The methodological expertise within BRTC comprises statistics, economics and social science. Areas of particular interest include complex trial design, and the application of social science to improve recruitment, design and conduct. As members of academic departments, our approach is to establish full and formal academic collaboration at all stages of a project, including design, development, conduct, analysis and reporting.

Collaboration and Innovation for Difficult or Complex Randomised Controlled Trials (ConDuCT)

CRIC Bristol provides key facilities for clinicians and academics to deliver cutting-edge research and improved patient care in areas such as neonatal brain injury, sleep disorders in children, cardiac imaging and diabetes. This includes a Siemens 3T Magnetom MRI Scanner, a Sleep Studies suite and clinical rooms. Uniquely, CRIC Bristol is purpose-built to accommodate studies on babies, children and adults, with provision for both inpatients and healthy volunteers.

Other facilities used by members of Bristol CardioVascular

Animal Services Unit (ASU)

The Animal Services Unit provides facilities, services and advice for all scientists within the University who need to carry out research using animals. This work is ethically reviewed, carefully regulated and kept to a minimum, within the overall objectives of advancing knowledge in the areas of biological, biomedical and veterinary sciences. Alternatives to research that involves using animals are always used wherever possible, and all scientists involved in this area are actively involved in the 3Rs (reduction, refinement and replacement).


Further information available on request:

Flow Cytometry Facility

The Flow Cytometry Facility facility is comprised of high speed digital benchtop cytometers for analysis and a state of the art Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorter (FASC) for isolating populations of interest from a wide variety of cells or other particles. Aseptically sorted cells can be cultured for downstream studies or used for nucleic acid profiling. From human cells to algae, bacteria and yeast, the flow cytometers provide analyses for academics and industry partners keen to identify and purify subsets of cells to study processes in the human body and in single-celled organisms.

Histology Services Unit

The Histology Services Unit has a range of equipment which staff and students can be trained to use. It also provides a full histology service including wax and frozen sectioning, tissue processing and using a wide range of stains. Immunocytochemistry is also available. Experts are also available to provide help and guidance for histology queries or problems.

Langford Vet School for large animal facilities

Langford Vet School houses two large operating theatres for horses and farm animals, five theatres plus anaesthesia induction and recovery ward for small animal surgery, an intensive care unit, and diagnostic imaging facilities which include a 16-slice CT scanner, digital radiography, high-resolution fluoroscopy, diagnostic ultrasound, echocardiography and scintigraphy with a high-resolution 1.5 tesla MRI scanner. These facilities are used for training undergraduate and postgraduate veterinary surgeons and for advancing knowledge through clinical research.

Translational Biomedical Research Centre

The ability to study function, treatment and recovery in large animals enables final stage validation of new biomedical devices, medical procedures and drugs before proceeding direct to first in man and first in companion animal trials. The Translational Biomedical Research Centre is a £6.3 million facility containing a large animal research hospital operating to NHS standards with state of the art imaging.

(Centre for) Nanoscience and Quantum Information (NSQI)

The NSQI is an extraordinary interdisciplinary venture bringing together scientists, engineers and medics, to steer innovative collaborations. The purpose-built centre houses laboratories where vibration, temperature, air movement and acoustic noise levels are among the lowest levels ever achieved. The facility has one of the best environments in which to conduct high resolution experiments. Equipment includes Atomic Force Microscopes (AFM), a Dynamic Holographic Assembler (DHA) and both wetlab and cleanroom facilities.

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT)

NHSBT is a Special Health Authority in the NHS with responsibility for optimising the supply of blood, organs, and tissues.

Clinical Translation Partnerships (CTP) helps translate research into viable clinical therapies by taking advantage of NHSBT's massive pool of skills and expertise in managing the repeatable delivery of viable cell and organ based therapies.

CTP uses the infrastructure of national HTA and MHRA-licensed 'Good Manufacturing Practice' facilities, which can be used for 'Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products'; and it uses the inherent skills of its production scientists to work with people in other organisations  - academic, clinical, or commercial.

CTP is therefore a powerful partner to translate cellular therapies into viable clinical therapies.


The facility provides a full range of bespoke proteomics services to medical, veterinary and clinical scientists, allowing the isolation, identification and quantification of proteins in biological samples. The entire process, from sample preparation through to analysis, is carried out in-house. The facility also provides expert advice in experimental design and grant submissions to help researchers secure funding for new initiatives.


The facility provides expertise and access to the latest genomics and transcriptomics technologies including Illumina and Ion Torrent next generation sequencing and Affymetrix® microarray expression and high throughput genotyping analysis.

  • Illumina and Ion Torrent next generation sequencing
  • Affymetrix GeneChip® Expression and Axiom high throughput genotyping arrays
  • RNA/ DNA quantification and analysis
  • Capillary sequencing/ genotyping

For more information, please see:

State of the art research facilities

Thanks to continued investment from awards and research grants, Bristol CardioVascular members have a superb range of facilities available to them to carry out research using the latest techniques.

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