PITA Fiscal Year 2008 Projects - Biomedical and Health Engineering

Modeling in Regenerative Medicine: Computational Design and Optimization of a Stem Cell Therapy System for Cardiovascular and Neural Tissues

Principal Investigators: Ender Finol, Kris Dahl

The emerging field of regenerative medicine is anticipated to encompass technologies that will significantly impact treatment of a wide range of medical disorders. Devices that control the delivery of cell-based solutions must be developed to achieve the therapeutic breakthroughs and associated benefits of regenerative medicine. The feasibility of designing and developing such devices is the subject of this research proposal. It is desirable to understand the fluid physics and mechanical reaction forces on the cells in suspension through cell therapy delivery devices. This knowledge will allow us to determine what design changes can be made to existing and proposed devices to minimize the forces on the cells and improve the efficiency of the delivery system. We propose to quantify the fluid physics of cell therapy delivery devices by means of a numerical modeling approach that will comprise fluid-structure interaction (FSI) techniques, customized two-phase flow models for solid particles suspended in fluids, and mass transfer to porous media. The knowledge gained from the numerical simulations will guide product designers to better understand the forces cells are subject to and improve future designs of cell therapy systems.