Multiscale Cardiovascular Engineering
We are a group working at the interface of cardiovascular science, mathematics and bioengineering and we apply multi-physics and multi-scale computational techniques to produce patient-specific simulations and to understand cardiovascular health and disease. For this, we use a combination of in-vitro, in-vivo and in-silico tools. The group is highly technical and we pride ourselves in tackling complex issues of robustness and uncertainty in multiscale models.
We are a key delivery team and engineering lead for vascular research in WEISS, the Wellcome/EPSRC Centre for Interventional and Surgical Sciences at UCL. We lead a cutting-edge programme of research with our colleagues at the Royal Free Hospital, specially the vascular service. As part of our work with WEISS we are leading a state-of-the-art patient-specific platform for precision vascular medicine that combines in-vivo, in-vitro and in-silico tools.
The group's strong and unique selling point is our carefully considered, comprehensive and biologically meaningful way to model cardiovascular patho/physiology at multiple length and time scales and to use our models to test hypotheses and produce relevant and complex biological or clinical scenarios. We also do advanced testing of medical devices, in-vitro testing of vascular procedures and interventions and medical training.
Figure taken from 'Computational tools for clinical support: a multi-scale compliant model for haemodynamic simulations in an aortic dissection based on multi-modal imaging data'. Mirko Bonfanti, Stavroula Balabani, John P. Greenwood, Sapna Puppala, Shervanthi Homer-Vanniasinkam, Vanessa Díaz-Zuccarini. Journal of the Royal Society Interface.
We believe we do this in a highly innovative, professional but also practical way and we are amongst the very few groups capable of tackling applications from the molecular to the organism level in the cardiovascular field.
The research we carry out goes from modelling
and simulation of the formation
of atherosclerotic plaque (using a combined systems
biology-engineering approach), to the modelling and simulation of the
linking the cell level to the physiological level. Another area of interest also is the utilization
of computational tools
for the modelling and simulation of physiological systems, for example,
heart valves and medical implants, for example, stents. We use many of these in-silico tools in conjunction with a unique in-vitro setup (entirely designed in-house) for patient-specific in-vitro testing.
The group has important collaborations with vascular scientists and clinicians. We have tight links with the UCL hospitals, in particular with UCLH (Vascular Unit), The Royal Free Hospital and the Institute of Child Health, as well as other excellent research hospitals such as the General Infirmary of Leeds.