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Characterize the Growth of Blood Clots Near MHVs

Michelle Herrera - Biomedical Engineering Department, SJSU; Anthony Ho - Biomedical Engineering Department, SJSU;
Harsimran Kaur - Biomedical Engineering Department, SJSU

Dr. Alessandro Bellofiore

Technical Advisor:

A mechanical heart valve (MHV) is a medical device that helps control the flow of blood to and from the heart, offering a vital solution for individuals with a damaged or diseased heart valve. However, a significant disadvantage encountered with MHVs is the occurrence of thrombosis, forcing individuals to be on a lifelong dosage of anticoagulants. Currently, there are no solutions to this issue, and there is limited information regarding blood characterization when clotting has occurred. Our research aims to pinpoint the early stage of when a thrombus begins to form within the MHV to determine the need for treatment. We will do this through the use of a thrombogenicity tester (TGT), a device used to simulate the conditions of the MHV in the human body, and a hematology analyzer that will help us characterize the change in blood composition. In addition to characterizing our blood samples, we believe that as the clotting is beginning to form, the clicking sound of MHV closing becomes less loud. To test this hypothesis, we will attach a microphone to the TGT and listen for a change in sound when the simulation is running. These tests will allow us to gain information on what is occurring when clotting begins and will help future developments of MHVs.

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