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UCL Cardiovascular Engineering Laboratory
Faculty of Engineering Sciences

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Research

Research Projects:
TRISKELE - UCL Transcatheter Aortic Valve Platform

We have recently designed, manufactured and assessed a novel transcatheter aortic valve device, the TRISKELE system, which overcomes the main limitations experienced with the current solutions.  This valve substitute is fully retrievable/repositionable, and ensures enhanced anchoring and sealing.

GEMINI - UCL Transcatheter Mitral Valve Platform

We are developing a novel prosthetic device suitable for percutaneous mitral replacement. This would allow delivering the valve substitute into the anatomical position through a catheter inserted from a peripheral vessel, providing a more sustainable treatment.

Polymeric Heart Valves

We have designed a new generation of synthetic leaflets heart valves made of advanced nanocomposite polymer, with improved hemodynamic function. In vitro results suggest that the proposed design, together with the novel material, may lead to the adoption of polymeric heart valves in clinical applications.

Genetically Modified Biological Heart Valves

We are developing valves from GTKO sources, which would be more durable and could be used in younger patients currently treated with mechanical valves. This would reduce the need for lifetime anticoagulation and the related risks.

Tissue Engineered Bioprostheses

In collaboration with our partners at the University of Bristol, we are working to bio-engineer available valve substitutes by repopulating their core with patient’s progenitor cells, isolated and expanded from the adventitia of human long saphenous veins.

Joining Technologies for Cardiovascular Implants

This project, run in collaboration with TWI, aims at maximising the durability of new generation cardiovascular implants by enhancing the properties of the joints and the surface functionalities of super-elastic metal frames, biological tissues and biocompatible polymers.

Endovascular Device to Occlude Paravalvular Leakage

In collaboration with the University of Padua, Italy, we are developing a novel device suitable for the post-implant sealing of transcatheter valves. The device will contribute to improve medium and long-term efficacy of transcatheter valve implantation.

Smart Structures in Biomedical Applications

We are studying the application of smart structures such as auxetic frames to medical devices such as annuloplasty rings, angioplasty stents and, in collaboration with Yale University, novel solutions for the treatment of aortic stiffening.

Personalised Medicine

In collaboration with our partners at Great Ormond Street Hospital, we are creating a robust and validated framework that integrates routinely acquired patient clinical data and computational modelling device design techniques to optimise and tailor paediatric interventions.

Heart Valve Hemodynamics by Means of PIV Analysis

Particle image velocimetry (PIV) is an experimental optical method for the visualisation and measurement of the flow parameters.  We use PIV to study and improve the understanding of heart valves hemodynamics in normal and altered conditions. 

In-Vitro Modelling of Mitral Valve Therapies

We are building physical experimental models that reflect how a pathological mitral valve malfunctions under different physiological conditions, in order to better understand the contributory role of each component of the mitral apparatus.

Numerical Simulation of Complex Physiological Systems

We are implementing Fluid Structure computer models comprising both the aortic root and the flowing blood, which allow to expand the finding from the our experimental studies to the entire fluid domain, and generalise them.  This would also provide a more appropriate tool for therapeutic planning and for the design of novel devices.

Rhythm Dysfunctions and Ischaemic Events

We are investigating the relationship between LAA shape, blood flow phenomena and clot formation, to aid clinicians to select optimal treatments by means of personalised computer models based on medical images.

Augmented cardiovascular 4D flow MR Imaging

We are improving the resolution and reliability of 4D MR imaging by integrating it with computational fluid dynamics (CFD). This will enable more accurate quantification of the endothelial shear stress as well as non-invasive estimation of flow parameters.

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