Speaker: Scott Stapleton (University of Massachusetts Lowell)
Title: Structural Modeling of Textile-Reinforced, Tissue-Engineered Heart Valves
ABSTRACT: Heart valve defects or diseases can be very serious, often requiring valve replacement. Traditional synthetic heart valves can calcify or wear over time and the surgeries required can carry high risk and be very invasive. To address these drawbacks, researchers are developing tissue-engineered heart valves which can be inserted orthoscopically. These tissue-engineered heart valves have the potential to make compatible and effective replacements, but they are currently not strong enough to survive the high pressures found on the aortic side of the heart. To strengthen the valves, the tissue is grown around a textile reinforcement: too little reinforcement and the valve tears, too much and it does not function correctly. This presentation will summarize efforts to computationally model the hierarchical heart valve structure, with the intent of designing and optimizing textile reinforcement to strengthen the valve while maintaining its proper function.
BIO: Dr. Stapleton is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and specializes in computational mechanics and characterization of textiles and textile reinforced composites. He was first exposed to composites research investigating energy absorption of composite sandwich panels during car crash impacts with the auto industry. He earned a PhD in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan, funded by NASA Glenn Research Center to create a novel finite element tool to predict the behavior of adhesively bonded joints. After graduating, he worked at the Institute of Textile Technology and then later at the Institute of Applied Mechanics at RWTH Aachen University in Germany. He now works topics such as bonding of wind turbine blades, flexible electronics, textiles, composite