How to Mend a Broken Heart:
Bioengineering Advances in Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease
Dr. Heather Canavan
Center for Biomedical Engineering
University of New MexicoCardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States and most developed nations. It is estimated that more than 780,000 Americans have their first coronary at-tack each year. Currently, treatment of cardiovascular disease costs the US over $100B per year, including health care services, medications, and lost productivity. What makes the heart so special, why does it break, and what can be done to fix it? In this discussion, we’ll talk about the bioengineering approach to cardiovas-cular tissue repair, including a discussion of the heart’s original design function, the failures that commonly lead to heart malfunction, as well as the material requirements necessary to repair it. The presentation includes a number of graphic images and video of cardiovascular repair, although fair warning will be given so that no one is put off their tapas! In addition, the speaker will bring a variety of cardiovascular implants (e.g., stents, pacemakers, etc.) for a hands-on demonstration of the material properties of each.
Heather Canavan is an associate professor in the Dept. of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering and the Center for Biomedical Engineering at the University of New Mexico. She received her PhD in Physical Chemistry from George Washington University in 2002, after which she held a postdoctoral fellowship in the Chemical and Bioengineering Departments at the University of Washington under the guidance of Profs. David Castner and Buddy Ratner. The focus of Heather’s research is novel use of surface science techniques in Biomedical Engineering, including the plasma polymerization of biomaterials as novel cell culture substrates for biosensor and tissue engineering applications. She publishes in journals such as Langmuir, Plasma Processes and Polymers, and Biomaterials.