Fully Capable Preclinical Research Lab for Testing Devices and Biologics in Large and Small Models

Partnering with ESS gives you unparalleled access to the University of Minnesota. Experimental Surgical Services is part of the University of Minnesota’s Academic Health Center, Medical School. Our position within a world-class research university provides you access to unlimited resources; state of the art equipment and internationally recognized experts.

In our own lab, we have imaging capability to perform any percutaneous study. Because we are within the University of Minnesota, we also have access to clinical quality Computed Tomography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging and more.

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Pathology Services

The most important piece of preclinical evaluation is pathology. Recognizing the importance of pathology, Experimental Surgical Services offers the services of our full time board certified veterinary pathologist, Dr. Jill Schappa-Faustich.

Dr. Schappa-Faustich and staff will be with your product through every step of the pathology process, from explantation at necropsy, imaging and histoprocessing, to evaluation of the implanted device. Every step of the pathology process drives towards creation of a complete, detailed and highly accurate analysis of your device.

The pathology group works closely with study management to assure timely project completion of each project without compromising detail.

ESS utilizes cutting-edge pathology techniques, including high quality gross and microscopic photography, digital radiography, computed tomography, pressurized specimen fixation, multiple tissue embedding techniques (paraffin and plastic) with all necessary histologic and immunohistochemical staining to complete the most extensive and accurate pathology analysis your project requires. 

Surgical Innovation

Experimental Surgical Services’ experienced team of faculty and staff can provide clinical capabilities for your preclinical studies.

ESS’s surgical team can perform and support clinical grade procedures in a range of surgical specialties, including, but not limited to open heart, endovascular, interventional, transplantation, orthopedic, and dental.

ESS faculty receives frequent training on the latest clinical methodologies to perform the highest quality research possible.

Capabilities Include:

  • Cardiopulmonary Bypass (CPB)
  • Mobile fluoroscopy
  • Endoscopy / Laparoscopy 
  • Transthoracic and Transesophageal (TTE and TEE) cardiac echocardiography
  • IVUS / ICE
  • CT
  • MRI
  • DR (Digital Radiography)

Leadership, Faculty & Staff


Richard W. Bianco, Program Director & Professor
Phone: 612-625-5914

John Carney, Director of Research Operations
Phone: 612-626-2599

Mignon Finn, Administrative Director
Phone: 612-625-8930

Guerard Byrne, PhD

Christopher McGregor
Phone: 612-624-7435

Stefanie B. Yorek, Assistant to Richard Bianco
Contact for appointment scheduling
Phone: 612-625-4937