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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Vera P. Shively, BS, MS (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)
Description: This book of detailed protocols for researchers in the field of vascular biology is particularly relevant for scientists using animal and cell culture models.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a comprehensive manual for in vivo and in vitro techniques commonly used to study the progression of cardiovascular disease. A book such as this one was needed and it meets the authors' objectives.
Audience: Researchers new to the techniques commonly used to study cardiovascular disease, including clinician scientists, basic research scientists, graduate students, or residents are the intended audience. Although the book is written for beginners, even experienced researchers would find techniques that are new to them.
Features: The book includes protocols for animal models, ex vivo organ systems and relevant functional studies, cell culture isolations, and pertinent experiments. In addition, it presents protocols for basic as well as sophisticated histology, along with instructions for the assessment of results. The final chapter includes methodology for stem cell therapy. For researchers in vascular biology, the strength of this book is the relevance of the protocols and the detail in which they are described. The sections on materials and methods are the most comprehensive I've seen, including separate lists for solutions, supplies, and surgical tools, as well as extensive notes and references on the nuances of each technique. The protocols for animal surgery are particularly thorough. One of the shortcomings of the book is paradoxically one of its assets — the "see Notes" feature. Basically, it is an example of the limitations, and sometimes awkwardness, of print in the age of electronic text with links. The "see Notes" feature augments each chapter with relevant information, but it is a bit of a nuisance to flip back and forth through the pages.
Assessment: This would be a valuable addition to any laboratory doing research in vascular biology. It is small in size, but substantial in its usefulness to researchers in this area of study. It is not a replacement for the Current Protocols series from John Wiley & Sons, but could be considered a complement to this series as an initial resource for protocols with a narrower focus.