“We had many lively discussions on the poster that I presented on the BioLiver research that I’m doing in the context of the SINERGIA project, which provided quite a few interesting insights and new ideas to try,” said Alicia. It was interesting that good conversations took place, not only with interested students but also with experts in the field who came to visit.
Modelling cardiac response
Marco presented LifeTec’s advances in simulating cardiac contraction using numerical models, which drive the volume displacement in a physical heart platform. Such contraction models by themselves were already existing, but to implement them to actuate a real cadaveric heart’s tissue to make it respond to its hemodynamic loading condition – as if the heart was alive - was a novelty. Also this resulted in a couple of very interesting discussions on the application, and the possibilities it will provide for future studies. ASAIO has a large history in extracoroporal oxygenation (ECMO) and Ventricular Assist Devices (VAD's) and especially on the last topic this contraction modelling is very interesting, as VAD's are intended to unload the heart and our model platform can simulate how the heart would respond to VAD therapy.
In the movie clip to the side, we presented a short video of the cardiac contraction model at work! In the top left panel, the Cardiac BioSimulator platform is running and you can see our colleague Bart interacting with the system. The lower left panel displays the real-time Pressure-Volume loops, which are a measure for the workload of the heart. You will notice that these PV-loops will change shape and size, representing the heart's response as changes are made to the loading conditions of the heart. Surely further improvements and refinements need to be done, but the video already shows the early results from our efforts to make a cadaver heart respond to its environment.
Furthermore, we attended TVT were all the latest clinical results on new devices and therapies were presented. It was great to see so many devices that we’ve supported in their early stage with Cardiac BioSimulator experiments or PhysioHeart™ trials do quite well in clinical practice. And similarly, there were still a lot presentations of complications and very interesting new solutions that will get to the hospitals and patients in the near future. Besides that, the event was a great opportunity to reconnect with the people that we’ve been working with in the past and update each other.
ENJOYING THE CITY
And last but not least, we enjoyed the city of Chicago! It’s a great place to spend a couple of days and enjoy the atmosphere and quite a lot of movie filming locations.
The next event that we’re targeting will be Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) in Boston. This is the world's foremost educational forum specializing in interventional cardiovascular medicine, and we plan to bring our Cardiac BioSimulator to the exhibition. Hope to see you there!