Physiological System and Medical Devices

In cardiovascular engineering, ongoing research collaborations with clinicians are finding new ways to more efficiently diagnose disease conditions and improve therapeutic efficacy through development of interventional, cardiac assist, trans-catheter and drug delivery devices and wearable noninvasive monitoring for applications to hypertension, cardiac arrhythmia and heart failure. In neuroengineering, tissue oxygenation, evoked potentials and hemodynamics are integrated to assess brain function in terms of ischemia, hypoxia and cerebral hemodynamics. A newly formed objective is to establish methodology and modeling perspective for analyzing heart-brain function and multi-organ interaction under diseased conditions.

Models and measurements of the cardiovascular system investigations are ongoing. Most recently, a new method is developed for the continuous noninvasive measurement of arterial blood pressure; a model of the mechanics of stunned myocardium; fluid dynamic models of pressure and flow in arterial stenosis; and a noninvasive method that analyzes routine blood pressure data to yield the lumen area and compliance of the blood vessels underlying the occlusive cuff.

Oculomotor control research explores the complex neural and motor processes that control one's ability to focus and converge the eyes, which have important implications for the remediation of visual motor deficits. Myopia (or nearsightedness) is also investigated, where a theoretical model of has been developed which accurately predicts the effect of changes in visual optics on neurochemical transmission and ocular growth. In addition, the coordination between eye and head during putting and racquet motions in golf and tennis players is investigated. Finally, the effect of video-based cognitive training on improving performance in traumatic brain injury patients is also studied.

Likewise we have simulated how cells manipulate membrane proteins to assemble into tissues and organs ranging from patterned states on skin to controlled architectures in the central nervous system.  In this way, we have identified effects of specific genetic changes that lead to well characterized and predictable changes in how cells lay down patterns in both normal and diseased states.  Similarly we have simulated how proposed nerve regrowth therapies will affect the structure and function of damaged neuronal networks in both the small scale (e.g. localized lesions) and large scale (e.g. architectures that simulate learning in entire neuronal networks).

All of these simulations are validated by comparison with in vitro and in vivo experiments to ensure accuracy and to provide additional insights for future modeling.  This work has been applied to diverse biomedical problems ranging from trauma and cancer harmacokinetics to breast cancer diagnostics and analysis of brain injury therapies.

Faculty: Gary Drzewiecki, John K-J. Li, George Shoane, and Martin Yarmush