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Oct. 26 CEAS Seminar

College of Engineering and Applied Science
Fall 2011 Seminar Series

Wednesday, October 26, 2011
10 a.m., NC 2607/09

Clinical and Bench-Top Characterization of the Right Ventricular-Pulmonary Artery Axis

Kendall S. Hunter
Assistant Professor
Department of Bioengineering
University of Colorado Denver

Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a fatal disease in children and adults in which progressive increases in load on the right ventricle (RV) ultimately lead to heart failure and death. Current clinical assessment of the disease involves invasive collection of pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR), the standard disease diagnostic. PVR is believed to represent RV afterload, and thus a primary determinant of heart failure. However, recent clinical studies of PAH here and elsewhere have suggested that including pulmonary vascular stiffness (PVS) as an additional component of RV afterload yields better prediction of PAH progression than PVR, and vascular stiffening is an innate part of the disease process.

This talk reviews several recent advances in the clinical diagnosis and mechanical understanding of PH, including two new clinical PH prognostics, pulmonary vascular input impedance and proximal pulmonary stiffness, and bench top studies quantifying mechanical and extracellular matrix changes in the pulmonary arteries of a neonatal animal model of PH.   Future mechanical and clinical study directions are also introduced, including an emergent RV functional measure that promise even greater improvement in disease prognostication and incipient discoveries from human pulmonary
tissue testing.

Bio: Dr. Hunter obtained a Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2001, and spent the next several years developing and performing simulations of underwater shock for US Naval contractors.  He came back to the University of Colorado at Denver in August 2004 as a Post-Doctoral trainee in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Cardiology, where he first worked on simulations of coupled arterial-blood models, and became faculty in that division in early 2007.  Since the spring of 2010 he has been faculty in the new Department of Bioengineering.  He is interested in the mechanics of vascular soft tissues, clinical cardiovascular imaging, and animal models of vascular remodeling.



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At the CU Denver College of Engineering, Design and Computing, we focus on providing our students with a comprehensive engineering education at the undergraduate, graduate and professional level. Faculty conduct research that spans our five disciplines of civil, electrical and mechanical engineering, bioengineering, and computer science and engineering. The college collaborates with industry from around the state; our laboratories and research opportunities give students the hands-on experience they need to excel in the professional world.

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