Cardiovascular engineering encompasses a wide range of biomedical and engineering projects targeted at understanding the mechanisms, treatments and detection of cardiovascular health, disease, and regeneration. This includes:
- Engineering sciences of fluid dynamics and solid mechanics integrated with biology and diseases of the heart, heart valves, vasculature, and lymphatics in adult and pediatric cardiovascular diseases.
- Cardiovascular regeneration or repair using up-to-date technologies including gene, drug, and cellular therapies and their delivery technologies, biomaterials, bio 3D printing, and nanotechnologies.
- Using experimental and computational approaches asking questions spanning the genes and small molecules to cellular and organ levels that, in most cases, are integrative and multi-scale.
- Fluid dynamics and mechanics of blood studied in the heart, heart valves, blood and lymphatic vessels and vascular grafts, and using in vitro, in vivo, multi-scale “OMICS” and in silico approaches, with the latter becoming increasingly prominent.
- The department’s research associated with mechanical heart valves, new bioprosthetic designs, and polymeric trileaflet valve prostheses is internationally recognized, as is research in arterial hemodynamics, endothelial cell biology, and their roles in atherosclerosis and arterial remodeling.
- New areas of research include fluid dynamics of thrombosis, stroke, aneurysms, and sickle cell disease.
- Cardiovascular solid mechanics work that addresses the mechanical properties and stresses in healthy and diseased arterial cross sections, and the role of mechanical factors in the disruption of atherosclerotic plaques.
- Biomechanical evaluation of the heart failure in adult and pediatric cardiac lesions using swine and ovine models and its translation to clinical use with cardiac MRI is being pursued.
- Novel technologies that use these biomechanical indices for early detection of disease progression, and to guide therapeutic intervention are in development.