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Heart research gets international recognition

June 04, 2010

Two students in Arizona State University’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering have won an international award for a poster exhibiting their heart disease research.

Doctoral student Haithem Babiker and undergraduate Jonathan Plasencia, both bioengineering majors, earned the 2010 Mimics Innovation Award for the poster detailing research into congenital heart disease.

The Mimics award is given by Materialise Inc., based in Belgium, an industrial and medical technology company, to promote innovation in medical procedures and computer-aided engineering.

Each year the international competition assembles a panel of judges from industry and academia to examine bioengineering research studies from around the world. Judges take into account the potential economic and social impact of new ideas, as well as the degree of innovation and the quality of research.

The students' poster presents a new method to aid surgeons in repairing anatomical abnormalities known as tetralogy of Fallot, a congenital heart defect that limits a patient’s ability to oxygenate blood.

The method involves the use of pre-operative cardiac computerized-tomography images and computational fluid dynamic simulations to aid in preparation for surgery.

Babiker said this method has the potential to improve pre-operative planning, decrease stress on the surgeon, limit surgical time, lower surgical costs and significantly improve the chances of successful surgeries.