The Energy Metabolism Core daily operations are overseen by Crystal Traylor, N.P., whereas Drs. Eric Ravussin and Leanne Redman provide scientific oversight of all assessments, instrumentation, and measurement quality control.
The core utilizes indirect calorimetry to measure energy expenditure. We have 13 portable bedside metabolic carts (Deltatrac IITM and MAX-II) in service, which allow for measurements of energy expenditure and substrate oxidation under resting conditions. Using these devices, we can also measure acute and chronic changes in energy metabolism in response to thermogenic compounds and ambient temperature, as well as the response to various dietary and exercise treatments.
Pennington Biomedical currently has two whole-room calorimeters, or metabolic chambers. The room calorimeters are used to assess energy expenditure over 24 hours, as well as components of energy expenditure such as sleeping metabolic rate, spontaneous physical activity, and the thermic response to meals. The customized software platform outputs minute-by-minute data also allowing for the assessment of acute effects. Each chamber has an approximate volume of 27,000 L and was designed to provide a pleasant ambiance for study participants.
Within the next year, the Energy Metabolism Core will undergo substantial renovations. We will acquire new space to house a metabolic rate suite and two additional room calorimeters, one with a similar size of 27,000 L and one smaller (10,000 L) with the capacity to modify ambient temperature, which will allow for environmental studies. This work will be conducted mostly by Mr. Tyler Clement, our Biomedical Engineer.
Additionally, the core provides measurement of core body temperature, heart rate variability, and skin temperature by infrared imaging. Approximately 750 metabolic cart measurements and 150 metabolic chamber measurements are performed annually by the Energy Metabolism Core.
This core is supported by grant from National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and industry sponsors.