News | February 09, 2010

Emulator Technology May Help Eliminate Thrombus in Cardiovascular Devices

February 9, 2010 – Researchers are developing technology that they hope will one day prevent thrombus formation on cardiovascular devices without the use of anticoagulation drugs.

On Jan. 22, Danny Bluestein, Ph.D., professor of bioengineering at the State University of New York (SUNY) Stony Brook, in collaboration with Marvin J. Slepian, M.D., professor of medicine (cardiology) at the University of Arizona, submitted a phase II Quantum Grant proposal to the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB). During phase I of this project, they developed and tested the Device Thrombogenicity Emulator (DTE).

“The DTE measures the potential for blood clotting in cardiovascular devices by mimicking the conditions in the device as extracted from advanced numerical simulations,” Bluestein said. “Conceptually, it is analogous to a wind tunnel used for aeronautic and automotive testing. The ultimate goal is to eliminate the need for anticoagulation.”

During phase II the researchers plan to use the DTE to identify hot spot trajectories in the flow fields of cardiovascular devices where clots can form. The DTE methodology enables them to tweak the geometry of the device in order to achieve design optimization aimed at minimizing and eliminating these hot spots.

If the proposal is awarded the grant, Bluestein plans to use the DTE to test and optimize the designs of prosthetic heart valves, left ventricular assist devices (LVADs), biventricular assist devices (BiVADs) and the SynCardia temporary CardioWest Total Artificial Heart. Bluestein closely collaborates with SynCardia Systems Inc., and with other device manufacturers who are partners in the proposal.

“Ultimately, we envision that our methodology has the potential for advancing testing for cardiovascular devices that may be of use to the industry and the FDA,” said Dr. Slepian.

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