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Cardiothoracic Surgery and Cardiovascular Biophysics Research Laboratory

The Heart Lab

Historically, much of the research conducted in our 'Heart Lab' has been at the interface of medicine and engineering, dedicated to the discovery and development of innovative methodologies (molecular/cellular therapies) and technologies (organ function replacement, surgical robotics, and cellular regeneration/replacement therapies) for the treatment of cardiovascular system disorders. These efforts draw upon a large multidisciplinary knowledgebase, applying the thinking, phenomena, techniques, and technology of cardiovascular biophysics, molecular biology, mechanobiology, cellular and tissue engineering, mathematical / computational biology and systems science theory.

The basic research encompasses integrative aspects of cardiovascular structure-function, studying the functional relationships between intercellular and extracellular mechano-transduction signaling. The applied research targets therapies to repair / replace the failing pump function of the heart using regenerative tissue engineering and mechanical cardiac replacement device design technologies. More recently, we have embarked on a number of new (and highly translational) projects in the area of cardiac valve design and enhancement of their performance dynamics, engineering functional 3D tissue models, digital knitting (personalized designs) of cardiovascular implants (multi-leaflet valves, vascular prosthesis) and smart clothing.

The broad range of research projects that have been pursued reflects a truly unique interdisciplinary approach. Importantly, this facility also serves as an educational cardiac research center to direct the scientific projects of medical and surgical residents, as well as graduate and medical students. In addition, the collaborative efforts include projects with the Tissue Engineering, Cellular Mechanics, Circulatory Support, and BIOMEMS groups at Drexel University and IME - University of Pennsylvania.

Research Efforts

Mechanotransduction: Sensing - Remodeling
Heart Flower Heart Leaf
Three Body Orbit
Helical Fibers Cannulated Aorta
Pump Oxygenator Lumped Circulatory Model
Microflow Field Visualization - Washout Microflow Field Visualization - Valve in Pipe
Systems and Their Models
Design Thinking

Other Research Efforts

Efforts to improve the capabilities of robot-assisted cardiac surgery: design of smart sensors and manipulators with haptic (tactile) feedback; Computer-assisted surgical planning, endoscopic manipulators

Design and construction of a live-cell observatory for monitoring of platelet concentration, transport and adhesion kinetics in high shear-stress environment.

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