Vessels under Stress

The formation of aneurysms, atherosclerotic plaques, and other vascular disorders are reflected in an alteration of the morphological and mechanical properties of the arterial wall. Patient stratification and clinical decision making regarding treatment would highly improve if these alteration in the vascular properties could be accurately assessed and further development of the disorder could be predicted for each individual patient. 

Aim in the track ‘Vessels under stress’ is to develop clinical measurement techniques to assess the mechanical and morphological properties of the arterial wall and to use computational models to predict the development of vascular disease and outcome of clinical intervention.

Focus is on ultrasound as this technique combines a high spatial and temporal resolution and enables functional imaging. New 3-D and 4-D ultrasound techniques are developed and employed for patient-specific rupture risk assessment of aortic aneurysms (AAAs and ATAAs), whereas photo-acoustics is currently being tested for imaging of superficial arteries (carotid, brachial artery) and validated pre-clinically to assess its applicability and merit.

Measurement techniques are validated in mock-loops and in vitro experiments. Computational models are used to link the measurements to risk factors that cannot be measured directly and predict outcome of intervention.