Proposals: 1512553 / 1512553 PIs: Frakes, David / Sodana, Henry
The proposed research program is likely to provide fundamental knowledge, useful research techniques in the biomedical field related to cerebral aneurysms and similar related pathology. The program focuses on the development and application of wall shear stress sensors to improve fundamental understanding of cerebral aneurysm fluid dynamics, create a prototype for addressing similarly posed problems, and underpin long-term advancement of fluid dynamic engineering in the context of human health.
Cerebral aneurysms affect over 5% of the population, which translates to more than 17 million people in the United States. They cause 10% of strokes and have a mortality rate of 65% after rupture. Although there is direct clinical evidence linking post-treatment hemodynamics to outcomes, the specific hemodynamics that underpin treatment success are not clear. This gap in understanding prevents the design and execution of more successful treatments. To improve solutions for this problem, and the broader class of problems it exemplifies, the proposed research program will advance sensing of biomedical systems through: create physical models of cerebral aneurysms for fluid dynamic experiments, develop nanostructured sensors for measuring wall shear stress directly, characterize and analyze the novel shear stress sensors under well-controlled conditions, and characterize the sensors by using them in the aneurysm models for understanding aneurysmal flows. Intellectual merits of the research program are: novel nanostructured sensors for measuring wall shear stress directly, a physical, computational, and fluid dynamic cerebral aneurysm library, and advance current knowledge of fluid dynamics in biomedical systems. Broader impacts of the research program include: enhanced infrastructure for research and education in the forms of novel sensors and a broadly disseminated cerebral aneurysm library (including both physical and computational models and fluid dynamic data), undergraduate research projects and undergraduate/graduate classroom case studies, newly generated partnerships with research and industry professionals, and impacts on society including reduced healthcare costs and improved quality and duration of human life. The primary educational goals of this program are to increase exposure to crucial but unavailable engineering technologies and to broaden participation in engineering. Toward those goals, the education program will engage students through multimedia curricula based the core technologies that drive the research program, thereby integrating the proposed research directly with education. Cerebral aneurysms affect both Hispanics and women disproportionately. This fact will be leveraged to recruit research and education program participants from groups that are underrepresented in science and engineering. The programs will benefit multiple groups (researchers, patients, students, underrepresented groups) and institutions (academia, industry, healthcare, education) both locally and globally.