Dr. Figueroa studies the effects of exercise on autonomic control of the cardiovascular system, arterial stiffness, and endothelial function. His primary focus is on the effects of resistance exercise, whole-body vibration, L-citrulline supplementation (synthetic and from watermelon)and functional foods on cardiovascular function and body composition in middle-aged and older adults with chronic diseases associated with reduced physical activity and obesity.
All of the research in Dr. Figueroa’s laboratory has a focus on improving cardiovascular health and muscle quality in middle-aged and older adults with obesity, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases. Current and future research projects include the effects of resistance exercise, whole-body vibration exercise, and L-citrulline supplementation on arterial function and muscle strength in obese individuals.Laboratory Information: Autonomic function is measured by power spectral analysis of heart rate variability, blood pressure variability and spontaneous baroreflex sensitivity. Arterial stiffness is measured by augmentation index and pulse wave velocity using applanation tonometry of the radial artery. Flow-mediated dilation and arterial blood flow by ultrasound. Parameters are measured in response to head-up tilt, isometric handgrip, cold pressor, and during and after an acute bout of exercise.
EQUIPMENT: Finometer beat-to-beat blood pressure and hemodynamic monitoring system; Philips HD11 XE ultrasound system with vascular analysis tool software; Sphygmocor for pulse wave velocity, aortic blood pressure and augmentation index (arterial stiffness); Omron VP-2000 Enhanced vascular profiling system for measurements of pulse wave velocity and ABI; Two Spacelabs ambulatory blood pressure monitors (model 90207); Hokanson Plethysmography System to measure both limb arterial and venous blood flow non-invasively; Biopac MP100 Data Collection System with ECG and hand grip attachments; Impedance cardiography for stroke volume and cardiac output; WinCPRS software to estimate power spectrum density of heart rate/blood pressure variability and spontaneous baroreflex sensitvity; Electronic tilt table to evalaute cardiovascular responses to orthostatic stress; 10 MedX machines; and five PRO-5/6 AIRdaptive Whole-body Vibration Power Plate.