Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Special Seminar – JUAN CARLOS DEL ALAMO, PH. D.


Intracardiac Blood Flow Quantification in the Clinical Setting. Ready for Prime Time?

Recent advances in imaging technology and computational fluid dynamics now allow physicians to obtain non-invasive robust measurements of intracardiac blood flow in the clinical setting.  These advances have revealed that blood flow inside the heart chambers is characterized by the formation of unsteady vortex structures, generated during filling, that eventually last until the chambers are emptied.

This talk will summarize our recent efforts toward understanding how these flow patterns contribute to the function of the left ventricle (the main pumping chamber of the heart). We will show that the normal ventricular flow patterns: 1) Contribute to efficient filling of the ventricle. 2) Efficiently redirect the transit of blood towards the ventricle’s outflow tract. 3) Minimize the number of cardiac cycles that blood stays in ventricular transit, thereby reducing the risk of intraventricular blood clotting.

We will also illustrate how intraventricular flow quantification can be translated to the clinical setting in order to characterize and optimize the impact of clinical interventions and cardiac device implantation (e.g. bi-ventricular pacemakers and ventricular assist devices). In addition, we will provide examples of clinical studies in which we use intraventricular flow analysis to predict the risk of intracardiac blood clot formation and stroke, both in patients with regularly beating hearts and in patients with atrial fibrillation.


Bio. Prof. del Alamo received a B.S., M.S. and Ph. D. in Aerospace Engineering at the Polytechnic University in Madrid. He was a Fulbright postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University and UC Sand Diego, where he received training in experimental cell mechanics and cardiovascular flows. Prof. del Alamo’s lab at UCSD focuses on biological fluid mechanics and cardiovascular physiology, with particular emphasis on cellular biomechanics and non-invasive characterization of intracardiac flows. This research has been recognized with a US Geological Survey Director’s Award (2010), the NSF CAREER Award (2011), the Hellman Family Fellowship (2012), and the William Parmley Award from American College of Cardiology (2015).

Date(s) - 12/01/2017
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Bainer 1070


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