Biomechanics of surgical and percutaneous techniques to repair the mitral valve: The biomechanical function of the mitral valve after it is repaired with a surgical technique or with a new device, determines the long term durability of the valve and its function. We use experimental methods to quantify the force distribution on the mitral valve apparatus and measure valve strain distributions with different surgical and percutaneous techniques.
Mechanobiology of post-repair leaflet fibrosis and localized drug delivery to the mitral valve : Our recent work has revealed that abnormal valve biomechanics after surgical or percutaneous repairs, induce gradual fibrosis of the leaflets and their thickening via a mechanosensitive signaling cascade. Experiments have also demonstrated that this cascade can be targeted with drugs, to inhibit shift in valve cell phenotype to become pro-fibrotic. We are now interested in developing strategies to inhibit fibrosis by delivering these specific drugs to the valve without systemic side effects.
Cardiac Imaging to Quantify Mitral Valve - Left Ventricular Interactions in Functional Mitral Regurgitation: Mitral valve function is strongly intertwined with regional and global left ventricular function and geometry. Especially in patients with coronary artery disease, regional dyskinesia can induce severe MR, which is expected to resolve when the dyskinesia is resolved. However, when performing revascularization, it is challenging to determine if the myocardium will regain function and if MR will resolve. We are using cardiac imaging to develop predictive methods to identify those hearts that may have recovery of cardiac function to those that do not, and will require concomitant mitral repair.
Papillary muscle approximation as a biomechanically optimal repair:
Preliminary work in our laboratory indicates that papillary muscle approximation can restore the physiological biomechanics of the mitral valve and restore leaflet coaptation. We are studying the ability of this technique to restore valve function in a variety of geometries.
Alicja Sielicka PhD
Post doctoral fellow
Dongyang Xu MS
Elorm Agra BS
Kirthana Suresh MS
Undergrad Research Assistant