(June 15, 2015) -- Medically speaking, an aneurysm can be a time bomb. Ender Finol, associate professor of biomedical engineering at UTSA, wants to make them a little more predictable.
“It’s a medical problem,” he said. “But it’s something I can make a contribution to as an engineer.”
Finol has just received a $1.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a method to determine whether a patient with an aortic aneurysm needs surgery right away. Although in the mainstream “aneurysm” tends to mean a blood vessel bursting in the brain and causing sudden death, it’s actually more complicated than that.
Firstly, people with aortic aneurysms don’t know they have them unless a doctor discovers one by accident or it ruptures. In the latter case, there’s about an 80 percent fatality rate. If the aneurysm is discovered before it ruptures, the patient is put under observation. Doctors wait until the aneurysm grows to about five cm in diameter, then recommend surgery.
However, this isn’t always necessary, and it could be costing lives.
“I believe there’s a good segment of the population that’s getting unnecessary, early surgery,” Finol said. “Most of these people have other diseases, so the complications from surgery could harm them more, or they might not even survive long enough before the aneurysm ruptures.”
His solution is a portable device, most likely a computer tool on a laptop, with a database that he’s currently developing. Surgeons would upload medical images of the aneurysm, and the computer would respond by determining whether surgery is necessary in the near future.
The tool will be validated with magnetic resonance images of a silicon replica of an aorta that will help Finol mimic the blood flow through a real aorta.
His work begins this summer.
Learn more about Biomedical Engineering at UTSA
All UTSA faculty, staff and students are invited to attend open forums featuring finalist candidates for the dean of the UTSA College of Sciences.
Various Locations, Main Campus
UTSA is an early voting site for the statewide General Election.
H-E-B Student Union Bexar Room (HSU 1.102), Main Campus
The UTSA Office of the President and the UTSA College of Public Policy present a discussion on San Antonio’s charter amendments. Event will be livestreamed to UTSA Main Campus, Travis Room – HSU 2.202
Buena Vista Street Building Aula Canaria (BVB 1.328), Downtown Campus
More than 75 local, state and national graduate and professional schools will showcase their programs at the Main Campus. It's free and open to the public. Interested attendees are encouraged to register for the event in advance.
Sombrilla Plaza, Main Campus
Hosted by the UTSA Office of Information Technology Student Innovation Coalition, Tech Talk is a forum for students to share thoughts about technology on campus with IT professionals and learn about products and services available to help them succeed.
Student Union Denman Room (SU 2.01.28), Main Campus
UTSA Libraries will host Claudia García-Louis, assistant professor, at the Downtown Library for her presentation AfroLatinxs: Navigating Blackness and Latinidad in the Age of Trump, as part of the popular Pizza and Research series.
Buena Vista Street Building Downtown Library (BVB 2.314), Downtown Campus
Celebrate the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" with a viewing of the 1931 film adaptation. A discussion on the impact and evolution of the novel will introduce the film, led by English, Music and Medical Humanities faculty.
John Peace Library North Commons, 2nd Floor
UTSA Libraries will host K. Jill Fleuriet, Ph.D., for her lecture, Flipping the Script: U.S.-Mexico Border in the News and Alternative Visions.
John Peace Library Assembly Room (JPL 4.04.22), Main Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.