Special Seminar Wednesday


Dr. Vittoria Flamini
Industry Assistant Professor
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Polytechnic School of Engineering
New York University


Patient-specific Models of the Aorta: Structure, Function, and Pathophysiology


Advances in medical imaging technologies have greatly enhanced the amount of information that can be obtained non-invasively from clinical images. For example, by using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), it is possible to recover flow profiles, tissue strain, and fiber architecture at organ and tissue scales.

Simultaneously, advances in numerical methods have enabled simulation-based computational models of increasingly complex systems. These methods are becoming more commonly used in the medical industry, and the FDA is considering using computational simulations as part of pre-clinical testing for medical devices.

In this talk, I describe the use of Diffusion Tensor Imaging to extrapolate structural information of the aortic wall, and the computer simulation of aortic valve function by computational methods able to capture the interaction between blood flow, aortic leaflets and aortic wall compliance. I also outline a framework that couples patient-specific models and computational analysis to simulate the development of aortic dissection (a pathology initiated by a tear in the inner aortic layer which develops into a parallel flow pocket and may lead to aortic wall rupture). This framework serves as an example of how I envision the future of healthcare: patient-specific, non-invasive, technologically advanced, seamlessly integrating engineering in clinical practice and in surgical decision making.


Dr. Vittoria Flamini is an Industry Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering. Her research interests include cardiovascular biomechanics, multi-scale modeling of biological tissues, fluid-structure interactions, medical devices, clinical imaging, and patient-specific modeling.

For her work on Diffusion Tensor Imaging, she earned recognitions in several competitions, most notably the ASME Summer Bioengineering Conference Ph.D. Level Best Paper Award in 2009 and the IMechE Republic of Ireland Young Engineers Research Paper in 2012.

Dr. Flamini received her BSc. and MSc. degrees in Medical Engineering from the Università di Roma “Tor Vergata”, Rome, Italy, in 2003 and 2006, respectively, and her Ph.D. in Bioengineering from Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland in 2011.