WPI ME Research Seminar Series 2018-2019
The Effects of Fluid Flow on Vascular Disease and Development
Prof. Juan M. Jiménez
10:00-10:50 am, Wednesday, 8/29/2018
Bodily fluids (e.g. blood, lymph) serve an important role in transport of molecules in cells and the body. Fluid transport can affect development and disease progression. Our laboratory studies the fundamentals of fluid flow dynamics that are relevant in biomedicine, merging engineering and molecular biology techniques to study cardiovascular disease, implantable device design, and lymphatic vessel development. For example, cardiovascular stents allow re-establishment of blood flow to a blocked coronary artery, however their design may contribute to morbidity and mortality. Both experimentally and numerically we have demonstrated that by introducing aerodynamic principles into stent strut design and creating a streamlined stent strut, the risk of thrombus (blood clot) formation is decreased and a healthier, anti-thrombotic (anti-coagulant) endothelial phenotype ensues, important markers of clinical success. In the lymphatic system, we have demonstrated the importance of fluid flow in the development of lymphatic valves. Decreased lymphatic fluid flow leads to impaired (or lack of) valve formation with downregulation of important genes, resulting in lymphedema.