Awarded in 2021
Home Department: Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Advisors: Daniel Ennis (Radiology) and Ellen Kuhl (Mechanical Engineering)
Research Title: Measuring Myocardial Stiffness of the Failing Heart
Research Description: Currently, no accepted clinical method exists to measure myocardial stiffness in vivo. Increased myocardial stiffness, however, is a significant cardiac remodeling mechanism implicated in heart failure. A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Finite Element Modeling (FEM)-based framework presents a clinically viable myocardial stiffness estimation technique. Framework validation is critical but remains elusive as ground truth myocardial stiffness is unknown. Fikunwa will overcome this barrier by incorporating soft 3D-printed hearts into an MRI-compatible setup to measure deformation and loading, then use FEM to estimate stiffness and compare to ground truth values. The validated approach will be evaluated in heart failure patients.