Scientists, including an Indian American have developed a computer model to predict right-size heart valves

Scientists, including one of Indian-origin, have developed computer simulations to determine if a pulmonary valve will fit an individual’s heart, even before the surgery takes place.

Children born with a certain congenital heart defect often need a percutaneous pulmonary valve surgically inserted when they are 10 to 15 years old.

The computer simulations will help determine if that surgery will be successful and if the necessary valve will fit in the individual’s heart.

“To make it simple, it’s like buying jeans. You need to try them on to see if they are going to fit,” said Vittoria Flamini, an assistant professor at the New York University.

“Similarly, the valve might or might not fit – something surgeons would like to know before they perform the procedure,” Flamini said.

The computer simulation, a collaboration between Flamini and Puneet Bhatla, M.D., in the NYU Langone School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics, began in the summer of 2014 when Bhatla and others from Langone visited Tandon to talk about various biomedical challenges.

Professor Vittoria Flamini
Professor Vittoria Flamini

“A lot of medicine involves technology and innovation, and the drivers of medical technology are physicians, because they are interested in solutions to the problems they are faced with,” Flamini said.

While still in the testing stage, the methodology that could spare kids from unnecessary surgery could be ready for rollout in as little as a year, researchers said.

Although this simulation is for a very specific cohort, Flamini expects that eventually it will be used for other types of surgeries.

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