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Smith receives RO1 award from NIH National Institute of Heart, Lung, and Blood

Smith Lab Highlight-1Bradford Smith, assistant professor of bioengineering and pediatric pulmonary and sleep medicine, received a $2.8M R01 award from the NIH National Institute of Heart, Lung, and Blood. This project will establish diagnostic algorithms and computer-controlled mechanical ventilation systems to improve mechanical ventilation safety.

Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is an acute onset respiratory failure that affects more than 200,000 people a year in the United States. This incidence has risen dramatically in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic which, in the most severe cases, results in ARDS. The only treatment for ARDS is supportive mechanical ventilation. Unfortunately, this essential lifesaving therapy can cause ventilator-induced lung injury (VILI) that is one of the primary drivers of the 40% ARDS mortality rate. Since VILI is a risk in all ARDS patients, and a significant contributor to ARDS mortality, improving ventilatory management is key to improving ARDS survival. Because each patient presents different changes in the function of their lungs, this requires personalized adjustments to the ventilator settings.

To overcome this challenge, the Smith Lab will develop a mechanical ventilation system that uses computer simulations to predict the optimally lung-protective ventilation for each subject. These computer models will be developed by Dr. Smith, collaborator Dr. David Albers (CU Pediatrics, Informatics and Data Science), and their trainees. Experimental models will be used to link the simulations to the biochemical and morphometric consequences of lung injury in collaboration with Dr. Eva Nozik-Grayck (CU Pediatrics, Critical Care). Data from the intensive care unit, collected and analyzed in collaboration with Dr. Peter Sottile (CU Pulmonary and Critical Care), will provide the essential translational link between benchtop and bedside

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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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