University of Nebraska Medical Center

Collaboration for Advanced Surgical and Engineering Applications

The Collaboration for Advanced Surgical and Engineering Applications is dedicated to supporting the joint efforts of clinicians and engineers in cardiovascular research. The main focus areas include experimental and computational vascular biomechanics and mechanobiology, vascular pathophysiology and ageing, devices and materials for open and endovascular repair.


Non-Compressible Hemorrhage
Uncontrolled hemorrhage from vessel injuries within the torso remains a significant source of prehospital trauma mortality. Resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta can effectively control hemorrhage, but this minimally invasive technique relies heavily upon imaging not available in the field. Our research is focused on the development of fluoroscopy-free endovascular navigation and hemorrhage control devices and techniques.
Carotid Artery Disease
Atherosclerotic carotid artery disease is among the leading causes of stroke. It is commonly associated with systemic risk factors, but the focal nature of this disease suggests that local factors, such as disturbed flow in the bulb, may also have a significant role. Our research is focused on understanding the morphological, mechanical, and hemodynamic changes in the normal and diseased carotid arteries; as well as the effects of surgical and endovascular treatments.
Peripheral Arterial Disease

Angioplasty and stenting for atherosclerotic occlusive disease in the arteries supplying the legs (peripheral arterial disease) is the most common endovascular procedure outside of the heart, but carries the highest rate of reconstruction failure. The underlying reasons for these poor results are not completely clear, but the main arterial segment within the leg, the femoropopliteal artery, appears to be significantly different from other peripheral arteries, possibly because of lower blood flow, but more importantly because it undergoes large deformations during flexion of the limb. These severe deformations are reflected clinically by the high incidence of stent fractures in this arterial segment.

Our research is focused on detailed understanding and quantification of the complex mechanical environment of the femoropopliteal arterial segment in order to determine optimal patient and lesion-specific treatment options for patients with peripheral arterial disease. To achieve this we are utilizing human cadaver models, large animal models, mechanical and structural characterization, and constitutive and computational modeling.

Vascular Aging and Remodeling
The human vascular system adapts to changing mechanical and biological environments undergoing changes in morphometry, arterial structure and mechanical properties. Detailed characterization of these changes with ageing and disease is important for understanding arterial pathophysiology and improving treatment modalities. Our research is focused on the assessment of changes that occur in human arteries with ageing and disease in terms of their shape, internal structure, mechanical properties, and flow characteristics.
Our research is supported in part by the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, Charles and Mary Heider Fund for Excellence in Vascular Surgery, and private industry.