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Lifesaving technology: computational heart modeling

February 17, 2015
A clinicial is working in the background and a patient monitor is in the foreground.

Natalia Trayanova, PhD, Murray B. Sachs Professor of Biomedical Engineering, is at the forefront of developing multiscale patient-specific computation modeling. She and her team at the Institute for Computational Medicine, are building complex heart models and simulating electro­physio­logical and electro­mechanical heart function to test possible treatment scenarios.

In a new video produced for the Johns Hopkins Rising to the Challenge campaign (see below), Natalia Trayanova discusses the challenges and solutions for clinicians in their need to improve therapies for heart disease — the number one killer in the industrialized world. Myocardial infarction is one of the most prevalent heart diseases, often resulting in heart rhythm dysfunction and the development of lethal arrhythmias.

“In my lab, using cardiac MRI scans, we create patient-specific models of the heart that are able to recreate the dysfunction in each patient. Then we use these models to predict what is the best therapy for each patient,” says Trayanova.

Simulations determine all possible intervention scenarios and allow the team to predict the most minimally invasive treatment options.

Being the inaugural recipient of the Department of Biomedical Engineering’s Murray B. Sachs Professorship and the recipient of the 2013 NIH Director’s Pioneer Award has given Dr. Trayanova the freedom to embark on high-risk, but high-reward projects. “There have been many advances in individualized health in many disciplines, but there has never been a translation of computational modeling of the heart from basic science into the clinic. It is our hope that we will be the first to do that,” she says.

Category: Research
Associated Faculty: Natalia Trayanova

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