Circle of Willis (CoW) is one of the most important cerebral arteries in the human body and various attempts have been made to study the hemodynamic of blood flow in this vital part of the brain. In the present study, blood flow in a patient specific CoW is numerically modeled to predict disease-prone regions of the CoW. Medical images and computer aided design software are used to construct a realistic three-dimensional model of the CoW for this particular case. Read More
The purpose of this study was to evaluate structural and optical properties of atrial tissue from common animal models and to compare it with human atria. We aimed to do this in a format that will be useful for development of better ablation tools and/or new means for visualizing atrial lesions. Human atrial tissue from clinically relevant age group was compared and contrasted with atrial tissue of large animal models commonly available for research purposes. Read More
The increased understanding of right heart diseases has led to more aggressive interventions to manage functional tricuspid regurgitation (FTR). In some cases of FTR, prosthetic valve replacement is typically considered when concomitant organic components or significant geometrical distortions are involved in the pathology of the tricuspid valve. However, little is known of the performance of current devices in the right heart circulation. Read More
Cardiovasc Eng Technol 2017 Aug 28. Epub 2017 Aug 28.
St. Francis Hospital - The Heart Center®, Center for Advanced Cardiac Therapeutics, 100 Port Washington Blvd., Roslyn, NY, 11576-1348, USA.
The prevalence of heart failure (HF) is continuously rising in both the industrialized and non-industrialized nations. Despite current therapeutic advances, prognosis of HF patients remains poor. Presently, therapeutic pharmacological and device strategies for HF with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) are mostly palliative and do not induce regeneration of lost myocardial tissue. Read More
The eventual goal of this study is to develop methods for estimating dynamic stresses in the left ventricle (LV) that could be used on-line in clinical settings, based on routinely available measurements. Toward this goal, a low-order theoretical model is presented, in which LV shape is represented using a small number of parameters, allowing rapid computational simulations of LV dynamics. The LV is represented as a thick-walled prolate spheroid containing helical muscle fibers with nonlinear passive and time-dependent active contractile properties. Read More
One of the most important limitations of hemodialysis (HD) treatment is the vascular access (VA) that is used to connect the patient's blood vessels to the extracorporeal circulation. The arteriovenous fistula (AVF) obtained with native vessels is the VA of choice for the low incidence of infections and the long-term patency, but it is affected by high incidence of non-maturation or primary failure. Before use for cannulation, AVF must undergo vascular remodeling, with progressive increase in vessel diameter, to accommodate the increase in blood flow. Read More
Arterio-Venous Fistulae (AVF) are regarded as the "gold standard" method of vascular access for patients with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) who require haemodialysis. However, up to 60% of AVF do not mature, and hence fail, as a result of Intimal Hyperplasia (IH). Unphysiological flow and oxygen transport patterns, associated with the unnatural and often complex geometries of AVF, are believed to be implicated in the development of IH. Read More
Cardiovasc Eng Technol 2017 Jul 25. Epub 2017 Jul 25.
The Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.
This study aims to investigate the capability of smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH), a fully Lagrangian mesh-free method, to simulate the bulk blood flow dynamics in two realistic left ventricular (LV) models. Three dimensional geometries and motion of the LV, proximal left atrium and aortic root are extracted from cardiac magnetic resonance imaging and multi-slice computed tomography imaging data. SPH simulation results are analyzed and compared with those obtained using a traditional finite volume-based numerical method, and to in vivo phase contrast magnetic resonance imaging and echocardiography data, in terms of the large-scale blood flow phenomena usually clinically measured. Read More
Native arteriovenous fistulas have a high failure rate mainly due to the lack of maturation and uncontrolled neo-intimal hyperplasia development. Newly established hemodynamics is thought to be central in driving the fistula fate, after surgical creation. To investigate the effects of realistic wall shear stress stimuli on endothelial cells, an in vitro approach is necessary in order to reduce the complexity of the in vivo environment. Read More
All types of vascular access, a necessity for haemodialysis, are prone to thrombosis and if untreated this results in failure. Thrombosis results from the combination of impaired blood flow, endothelial and vessel wall injury and a propensity towards pro-coagulative states, either intrinsic or aggravated by dialysis or dehydration. The treatment of access thrombosis relies on removal of the clot (thrombectomy) and treatment of the underlying problem. Read More
Mechanical circulatory support (MCS) devices have become a standard therapy for heart failure (HF) patients. MCS device designs may differ by level of support, inflow and/or outflow cannulation sites, and mechanism(s) of cardiac unloading and blood flow delivery. Investigation and direct comparison of hemodynamic parameters that help characterize performance of MCS devices has been limited. Read More
This review examines four imaging modalities; ultrasound (US), digital subtraction angiography (DSA), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT), that have common or potential applications in vascular access (VA). The four modalities are reviewed under their primary uses, techniques, advantages and disadvantages, and future directions that are specific to VA. Currently, US is the most commonly used modality in VA because it is cheaper (relative to other modalities), accessible, non-ionising, and does not require the use of contrast agents. Read More
Mitral valve regurgitation (MR) is a disorder of the heart in which the mitral valve does not close properly. This causes an abnormal leaking of blood backwards from the left ventricle into the left atrium during the systolic contractions of the left ventricle. Noninvasive assessment of MR using echocardiography is an ongoing challenge. Read More
The vascular access is the lifeline for the hemodialysis patient. In the United States, the Fistula First Breakthrough Initiative (FFBI) has been influential in improving use of arteriovenous fistulas (AVF) in prevalent hemodialysis patients. Currently, prevalent AVF rates are near the goal of 66% set forth by the original FFBI. Read More
Cardiovasc Eng Technol 2017 Jun 29. Epub 2017 Jun 29.
Laboratory of Biomedical Technologies, Clinical Research Center for Rare Diseases Aldo e Cele Daccò, IRCCS - Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche "Mario Negri", Via G.B. Camozzi 3, 24020, Ranica, BG, Italy.
Although our understanding of the failure mechanism of vascular access for hemodialysis has increased substantially, this knowledge has not translated into successful therapies. Despite advances in technology, it is recognized that vascular access is difficult to maintain, due to complications such as intimal hyperplasia. Computational studies have been used to estimate hemodynamic changes induced by vascular access creation. Read More
Amongst the complications of diabetes is arrhythmia, the risk of which depends on multiple factors. This study was designed to investigate several factors, including the effects of ATP-sensitive potassium current, lateralized connexins, and gap junction uncoupling. ATP-sensitive potassium channel (I KATP) opening is caused by ischemia, which can occur in diabetic or non-diabetic hearts. Read More
The current delivery size of transcatheter aortic valves, limited by the thickness of their pericardial leaflets, correlates with a high prevalence of major vascular complications. Polyurethane valves can be developed to a fraction of the thickness of pericardial valves through the addition of carbon nanotubes to reinforce their leaflets. This study investigates the suitability of a novel carbon nanotube reinforced leaflet to reduce the delivery profile of transcatheter aortic valves. Read More
Understanding of the hemodynamics of Type B aortic dissection may improve outcomes by informing upon patient selection, device design, and deployment strategies. This project characterized changes to aortic hemodynamics as the result of dissection. We hypothesized that dissection would lead to elevated flow reversal and disrupted pulsatile flow patterns in the aorta that can be detected and quantified by non-invasive magnetic resonance imaging. Read More
The aorta with its compliance plays a major role in hemodynamics as it saves a portion of ejected blood during systole which is then released in diastole. The aortic compliance decreases with increasing age, which is related to several cardiovascular imparities and diseases. Changes in flow patterns and pressure curves, due to varying aortic compliance, are difficult to investigate in vivo. Read More
This paper reviews applications of experimental modelling in vascular access for hemodialysis. Different techniques that are used in in-vitro experiments are bulk pressure and flow rate measurements, Laser Doppler Velocimetry and Vector Doppler Ultrasound point velocity measurements, and whole-field measurements such as Particle Image Velocimetry, Ultrasound Imaging Velocimetry, Colour Doppler Ultrasound, and Planar Laser Induced Fluorescence. Of these methods, the ultrasound techniques can also be used in-vivo, to provide realistic boundary conditions to in-vitro experiments or numerical simulations. Read More
Fontan completion, resulting in a total cavopulmonary connection (TCPC), is accomplished using a lateral tunnel (LT), extracardiac conduit (ECC), or recently a bifurcated Y-graft. The local energetic differences between these graft types have not been substantially analyzed under exercise conditions. The present study evaluates the energetic performance of Y-grafts under simulated exercise conditions, compares their performance to the previous LT/ECC Fontan options, and discusses implications for exercise tolerance and hemodynamic predictability. Read More
A vascular access (VA) is used to facilitate hemodialysis in patients that suffer from end-stage renal disease. However, they suffer from high failure rates due to non-maturation and venous stenosis, with intimal hyperplasia (IH) the underlying cause of both conditions. Abnormal hemodynamic profiles, which arise following VA creation, are believed to lead to the development of IH. Read More
In this study we investigated whether exerting an impulse on a Chronic Total Occlusion (CTO) improves the success rate of CTO crossing as compared to the currently used method of statically pushing the guidewire against the CTO. A prototype (Ø2 mm) was developed that generates translational momentum using a spring-loaded indenter and converts it to an impulse during impact. Mechanical performance was evaluated by measuring the peak force and momentum for different spring compressions and strike distances in air and blood-mimicking fluid. Read More
Mechanical circulatory support devices (MCSDs) have gained widespread clinical acceptance as an effective heart failure (HF) therapy. The concept of harnessing the kinetic energy (KE) available in the forward aortic flow (AOF) is proposed as a novel control strategy to further increase the cardiac output (CO) provided by MCSDs. A complete mathematical development of the proposed theory and its application to an example MCSDs (two-segment extra-aortic cuff) are presented. Read More
The aim of this study was to develop a computational framework to compare the impact of standard ablation concepts on the mechanical performance of the atria, since different line combinations cannot be applied in practice to the same patient. For this purpuse, we coupled electro-mechano-hemodynamic mathematical models based on biophysical principles and simulate the contractile performance of the atria. We computed systolic pressures and volumes in two patient-specific atrial geometries (one of normal size and one hypertrophied) with various ablation concepts. Read More
Shear stresses play a major role in platelet-substrate interactions and thrombus formation and growth in blood flow, where under both pathological and physiological conditions platelet adhesion and accumulation occur. In this study, a shear-dependent continuum model for platelet activation, adhesion and aggregation is presented. The model was first verified under three different shear conditions and at two heparin levels. Read More
Time-varying elastance models (TVEMs) are often used for simulation studies of the cardiovascular system with a left ventricular assist device (LVAD). Because these models are computationally expensive, they cannot be used for long-term simulation studies. In addition, their equilibria are periodic solutions, which prevent the extraction of a linear time-invariant model that could be used e. Read More
In this study, hemodynamic performance of three novel shunt configurations that are considered for the surgical repair of tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) disease are investigated in detail. Clinical experience suggests that the shunt location, connecting angle, and its diameter can influence the post-operative physiology and the neurodevelopment of the neonatal patient. An experimentally validated second order computational fluid dynamics (CFD) solver and a parametric neonatal diseased great artery model that incorporates the ductus arteriosus (DA) and the full patient-specific circle of Willis (CoW) are employed. Read More
A primary deficiency in predicting the progression and rupture-risk of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) is an inability to assign patient-specific, heterogeneous biomechanical properties to the remodelling aortic wall. Toward this end, we investigated possible correlations between three quantities having the potential for non-invasive measurement (diameter, wall thickness, and strain) and local wall microstructure within evolving experimental AAAs. AAAs were initiated in male C57BL/6J mice via in situ adventitial application of elastase and allowed to progress for 1-4 weeks. Read More
Evidence is accumulating that blood flow patterns in the cardiovascular system and in cardiovascular devices do, in some instances, depend on blood viscoelasticity. Thus, to better understand the challenges to providing circulatory support and surgical therapies for pediatric and adult patients, viscous and elastic components of complex blood viscoelasticity of 31 pediatric patients were compared to those of 29 adult patients with a Vilastic-3 rheometer. A random effects model with categorical age covariates found statistically significant differences between pediatric and adult patients for log viscosity (p = 0. Read More
Heart rate variability (HRV) modulates dynamics of ventricular repolarization. A diminishing value of HRV is associated with increased vulnerability to life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias, however the causal relationship is not well-defined. We evaluated if fixed-rate atrial pacing that abolishes the effect of physiological HRV, will alter ventricular repolarization wavefronts and is relevant to ventricular arrhythmogenesis. Read More
While the valvulopathic effects of serotonin (5HT) and angiotensin-II (Ang-II) individually are known, it was not clear how 5HT and Ang-II might interact, specifically in the context of the mechanobiological responses due to altered valve mechanics potentiated by these molecules. In this context, the hypothesis of this study was that increased serotonin levels would result in accelerated progression toward disease in the presence of angiotensin-II-induced hypertension. C57/BL6 J mice were divided into four groups and subcutaneously implanted with osmotic pumps containing: PBS (control), 5HT (2. Read More
As per the AHA 2015 and ERC 2015 guidelines for resuscitation, chest compression depth should be between 5 and 6 cm with a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute. Theoretical validation of these guidelines is still elusive. We developed a computer model of the cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) system to validate these guidelines. Read More
Calcific aortic valve disease (CAVD) is a major cause of morbidity in the aging population, but the underlying mechanisms of its progression remain poorly understood. Aortic valve calcification preferentially occurs on the fibrosa, which is subjected to disturbed flow. The side-specific progression of the disease is characterized by inflammation, calcific lesions, and extracellular matrix (ECM) degradation. Read More
This paper presents the latest in vivo findings of a novel vascular coupling system. Vascular anastomosis is a common procedure in reconstructive surgeries and traditional hand suturing is very time consuming. The vascular coupling system described herein was designed to be used on arteries for a rapid and error-free anastomosis. Read More
Stent implants are essential in restoring normal blood flow in atherosclerotic arteries. Recent studies have shown high failure rates of stent implants in superficial femoral artery (SFA) as a result of dynamic loading environment imposed on the stent implants by the diseased arterial wall and turbulent blood flow. There are variety of stent designs and materials currently on the market however, there is no clear understanding if specific stent design is suitable with the material that is manufactured from and if this combination can sustain the life-cycle that the stent implants need to undergo once inside the artery. Read More
Implantation and maintenance of a permanent cardiac pacing system in children remains challenging due to small patient size, congenital heart defects and somatic growth. We are developing a novel epicardial micropacemaker for children that can be implanted on the epicardium within the pericardial space via a minimally-invasive technique. The key design configurations include a novel open-coiled lead in which living tissue replaces the usual polymeric support for the coiled conductor. Read More
Cardiovasc Eng Technol 2017 Mar 9;8(1):3-16. Epub 2017 Jan 9.
The Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, Technology Enterprise Park, Room 206, 387 Technology Circle, Atlanta, GA, 30313-2412, USA.
Functional mitral regurgitation (FMR) is a significant complication of left ventricular dysfunction and strongly associated with a poor prognosis. In this study, we developed a patient-specific finite element (FE) model of the mitral apparatus in a FMR patient which included: both leaflets with thickness, annulus, chordae tendineae, and chordae insertions on the leaflets and origins on the papillary muscles. The FE model incorporated human age- and gender-matched anisotropic hyperelastic material properties, and MV closure at systole was simulated. Read More
Infants and children born with severe cardiac valve lesions have no effective long term treatment options since currently available tissue or mechanical prosthetic valves have sizing limitations and no avenue to accommodate the growth of the pediatric patient. Tissue engineered heart valves (TEHVs) which could provide for growth, self-repair, infection resistance, and long-term replacement could be an ideal solution. Porcine small intestinal submucosa (PSIS) has recently emerged as a potentially attractive bioscaffold for TEHVs. Read More
Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a degenerative disease of the aorta characterized by severe disruption of the structural integrity of the aortic wall and its major molecular constituents. From the early stages of disease, elastin in the aorta becomes highly degraded and is replaced by collagen. Questions persist as to the contribution of collagen content, quality and maturity to the potential for rupture. Read More
The aim of this study was, for the first time, to measure and compare quantitatively the viscoelastic properties and surface roughness of coronary arteries. Porcine left anterior descending coronary arteries were dissected ex vivo. Viscoelastic properties were measured longitudinally using dynamic mechanical analysis, for a range of frequencies from 0. Read More
Direct numerical simulations were performed on four patient-specific abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) geometries and the resulting pulsatile blood flow dynamics were compared to aneurysm shape and correlated with intraluminal thrombus (ILT) deposition. For three of the cases, turbulent vortex structures impinged/sheared along the anterior wall and along the posterior wall a zone of recirculating blood formed. Within the impingement region the AAA wall was devoid of ILT and remote to this region there was an accumulation of ILT. Read More
Surgical aortic valve replacement is the most common procedure of choice for the treatment of severe aortic stenosis. Bioprosthetic valves are traditionally sewed-in the aortic root by means of pledget-armed sutures during open-heart surgery. Recently, novel bioprostheses which include a stent-based anchoring system have been introduced to allow rapid implantation, therefore reducing the duration and invasiveness of the intervention. Read More
High entropy alloys (HEAs) are new class of metallic materials with five or more principal alloying elements. Due to this distinct concept of alloying, the HEAs exhibit unique properties compared to conventional alloys. The outstanding properties of HEAs include increased strength, superior wear resistance, high temperature stability, increased fatigue properties, good corrosion, and oxidation resistance. Read More
Cardiovasc Eng Technol 2016 Dec 14;7(4):374-388. Epub 2016 Nov 14.
Tissue Mechanics Laboratory, The Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, 206 Technology Enterprise Park, 387 Technology Circle, Atlanta, GA, 30313-2412, USA.
Computational modeling of heart valve dynamics incorporating both fluid dynamics and valve structural responses has been challenging. In this study, we developed a novel fully-coupled fluid-structure interaction (FSI) model using smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH). A previously developed nonlinear finite element (FE) model of transcatheter aortic valves (TAV) was utilized to couple with SPH to simulate valve leaflet dynamics throughout the entire cardiac cycle. Read More
Understanding cell contractility is of fundamental importance for cardiovascular tissue engineering, due to its major impact on the tissue's mechanical properties as well as the development of permanent dimensional changes, e.g., by contraction or dilatation of the tissue. Read More
The imaging of shear-mediated dynamic platelet behavior interacting with surface-immobilized von Willebrand factor (vWF) has tremendous potential in characterizing changes in platelet function for clinical diagnostics purposes. However, the imaging output, a series of images representing platelets adhering and rolling on the surface, poses unique, non-trivial challenges for software algorithms that reconstruct the positional trajectories of platelets. We report on an algorithm that tracks platelets using the output of such flow run experiments, taking into account common artifacts encountered by previously-published methods, and we derive seven key metrics of platelet dynamics that can be used to characterize platelet function. Read More
Hypertension is a significant worldwide health issue. Continuous blood pressure monitoring is important for early detection of hypertension, and for improving treatment efficacy and compliance. Pulse wave velocity (PWV) has the potential to allow for a continuous blood pressure monitoring device; however published studies demonstrate significant variability in this correlation. Read More