An overview of our research activities and research products.
Blood Clot Biomechanics in Thrombosis and Hemostasis:
Blood clotting is an essential physiological response to stop bleeding, foster wound healing, and ensure hemostasis. However, this normal physiological process can go rogue, leading to pathological clotting or thrombosis. Thrombosis drives severe diseases like stroke and heart attack; and is intimately connected to local flow and transport phenomena. We are interested in fundamental understanding of clot mechanics under flow especially in macroscale large artery setting, and in patient-specific vasculature. We employ a combination of custom numerical algorithms, high-performance computation, and image analysis, to study clot-hemodynamics interactions, clot deformation mechanics, and clot embolization.
Stroke and Cerebrovascular Biomechanics:
Stroke remains one of the most severe cardiovascular disorders, and a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. Several aspects of the underlying etiology, and improving diagnosis and treatment, remain poorly understood for stroke and related cerebrovascular accidents like Transient Ischemic Attack. We are interested in advancing the state of the art in understanding embolic stroke etiology, especially considering embolic strokes of undetermined sources (ESUS). We are also interested in understanding the interplay between stroke and cerebrovascular flow, including aspects of proximal and distal collateral circulation and its relation to reperfusion. We use a combination of custom in silico tools, multi-modal medical image analytics, and benchtop experiments to investigate embolic stroke phenomena.
Hemodynamics in Circulation:
Space-time varying blood flow patterns, and flow-induced mechanical stimuli like pressure, shear, and oscillatory forces are key drivers in a wide range of circulatory phenomena in health and disease. We are deeply interested in identifying how flow patterns and forces manifest in physiological patient-specific circulatory pathways. This is of key interest in patients on mechanical circulatory support such as ventricular assist devices, where altered state of hemodynamics may lead to complications like stroke. We are also interested in how surgical procedures can influence hemodynamic state, and how we can generate insights on surgical parameters and their optimization for improved patient health. We use a combination of high-performance computations, Lagrangian and particle approaches, image analysis, and benchtop experimentation to develop high fidelity in silico reconstruction of patient-specific hemodynamics for macroscale circulatory pathways.
Vascular Drug Delivery:
Vascular pathways are often routes for administering drug to a disease site. Key examples include thrombolytic drug delivery to an occlusive clot for stroke; and transarterial drug delivery approaches for cancer and fibroids. Improved drug delivery strategies and treatment efficacy assessment requires advancements in understanding the role of local flow in determining optimal drug transport and its effect at the disease site. We are interested in unraveling this fundamental role of local hemodynamics using a combination of in silico and in vitro analogue benchtop approaches. Our investigations center around developing algorithms for multiscale reaction-transport systems for drug delivery; and addressing clinically relevant questions of patient-specific dosimetry and treatment planning, and targeted vs non-targeted delivery.
Infection Transmission and Control:
The role of flow physics is central to how infections, especially respiratory pathogenic infections, spread from human to human. This constitutes an important class of biofluids problems where flow is external to the human body, but pathogens released by the human are carried into the flow leading to infection transmission. Understanding how flow mediates pathogen transport and exposure, can then enable devising measures for infection control as well. We are broadly interested in developing tools for understanding infection transmission and control in human-occupied spaces. We integrate computational airflow modeling, Lagrangian approaches for infectious agents, and building and operations data to develop tools that can enable better estimates of infection risk, and better strategies for control and isolation/quarantine. The global Covid-19 pandemic has motivated much of our investigations in this area.