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Department of Mathematical Sciences

Seminar Archives

On this page you can find information about seminars in this and previous academic years, where available on the database.

Numerical Analysis Seminars: Blood, Disease and a Better Life: Modelling Medical Devices

Presented by Prof. Sean McKee, Strathclyde University

23 November 2007 14:15 in CM105

This talk will be concerned principally with modelling three medical devices: a fluorescence capillary-fill device based on antibody/antigen technology, a catheter able to continuously monitor cardiac output and a drug eluting stent. The first device is capable of detecting a particular disease provided the specific antibody produced by the human body is known. This specific antibody is affixed to a side wall of the device and a fluid sample from the patient is then entered. A biosensor is employed to determine if a chemical reaction has taken place or not. A major application of this device is as a pregnancy testing kit. (It is known that the hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), is produced by the placenta during pregnancy and this is detectable in the urine within ten days of fertilisation.) The second device is a catheter with a small electric coil at its tip which allows blood to be heated one degree above blood temperature. The company involved could easily measure the power input required to maintain this temperature, but had no idea how to relate this to cardiac output - volumetric blood flow rate. The third project is at an early stage. An arterial stent is a metal scaffold to prevent ischemia (inadequate blood flow) caused by the growth of an atherosclerotic plaque inside an arterial wall. Atherosclerosis is the process during which this plaque, consisting of lipid and fibrous tissue, forms inside the arterial wall reducing the luminal area and hence the flood flow. The insertion of the stent can cause an inflammation: slow release drug eluting stents are endeavouring to overcome this. In addition to these three projects we shall briefly discuss the rheology of blood and how it might be properly modelled.

Contact David.Bourne@durham.ac.uk for more information