Dr. ir. Richard Lopata receives subsidy for development of non-invasive diagnostics of carotid artery stenosis

The researcher of Cardiovascular Ultrasound & Modelling will work on this project together with dr. Marc van Sambeek, vascular surgeon of the Catharina Hospital Eindhoven. With the subsidy of 850,000 euro of the ‘Lijf & Leven’ foundation they will develop a non-invasive diagnostic platform to determine the stenosis vulnerability within the carotid artery.

The stenosis can be stable, or vulnerable plaques. The latter can tear and lead to a stroke, which causes almost 25% of these sort of attacks. The stenosis are preventively removed (if >70%), because the potential risk cannot be distinguished solidly between them. Because of this, 9 symptomatic, and 19 asymptomatic patients are operated by surgeons to prevent one stroke. So, momentarily there is a high amount of overtreatment.

In this new research project they will develop 3D functional echography and photo acoustics of sclerotic plaques in the carotid artery at the TU/e and combine these with biomechanical models of the artery vessels. The expected result is a risk analysis of the plaque vulnerability, which is strongly related to the chance of a stroke.

Next to development and validation in the lab, the researchers will put their best effort to introduce and test these techniques in the clinical environment. The project will be running for 6 years and will be performed by two PhD students.