Headshot portrait of Nicole Schiavone - Bio-X Bowes Fellow
Bio-X Graduate Student Fellow

Awarded in 2019
Home Department: Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Advisors: Alison Marsden (Bioengineering and Pediatrics - Cardiology), Doff McElhinney (Cardiothoracic Surgery and Pediatrics - Cardiology), and John Eaton (Mechanical Engineering)

Research Title: Integrated In Vitro and In Silico Analysis of Premature Bioprosthetic Pulmonary Valve Dysfunction in Children with Tetralogy of Fallot

Research Description: Surgical treatment for Tetralogy of Fallot (ToF), the most common cyanotic Photo of graduate student Nicole Schiavone in a dry product design lab space, holding up small plastic prototypes of a heart valve repair device.congenital heart defect, often requires pulmonary valve replacement. While most bioprosthetic valves (BPVs) are subject to dysfunction within 15 years of implantation, they fail early and unpredictably in as many as 30% of ToF patients. Risk factors contributing to early failure are poorly understood, and reinterventions are significant causes of morbidity and mortality. There is an unmet clinical need for strategies to aid clinicians in valve placement that can increase valve longevity. Nicole will establish quantitative links between the environment surrounding the right ventricle outflow tract, adverse flow conditions, and impaired BPV performance.


Nicole is a scientific reviewer at the FDA in the Division of Circulatory Support, Structural and Vascular Devices in the Office of Cardiovascular Devices.