"A Systems Approach to Cardiovascular Health and Disease with a Focus on Aortic Wave Dynamics" by Dr. Niema Pahlevan (Division of Engineering and Applied Science at California Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) have reached epidemic proportions with serious consequences in terms of human suffering and economic impact. Therefore, there is increasing motivation to develop low-cost and minimally invasive methods to monitor, diagnose, and treat CVD. Traditionally, the aorta has been viewed as a resistive conduit with a Windkessel effect connected to an active pump, the left ventricle of the heart. However, this perception fails to explain many observed physiological results.
Here, we introduce the heart-aorta as a system which accounts for a wave-pumping mechanism that exists inside the aorta. Based on this new look, we present a novel method and index, the Intrinsic Frequency, for analyzing the dynamics of the cardiovascular system. This concept leads us to a deeper understanding of the physiology and can significantly impact the diagnosis of related clinical diseases. This systems approach has provided us a framework to derive a non-dimensional number (wave condition number) that predicts the optimum aortic wave state in mammals. Following this approach, we can also provide explanations to many unknown medical outcomes such as sudden cardiac death in young and healthy athletes.
Bio: Niema Pahlevan is a postdoctoral scholar in Medical Engineering at California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and Boswell Fellow in Huntington Medical Research Institute (HMRI). Dr. Pahlevan received B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from University of Tehran and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from California State University, Northridge. He joined Caltech in 2007 and completed his Ph.D. in Bioengineering in 2013. His research in focused on establishing new techniques and devices of translational medicine, in which mathematical and engineering principles are used to develop novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for cardiovascular diseases.