(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
Following Kickback, stick around the Union for a free screening of Avengers Infinity Wars.
Student Union Retama Auditorium (SU 2.02.02), Main Campus
The Honors College welcomes its new freshmen with a breakfast, meet and greet with Honors College administrators, faculty, staff and peers and an opportunity to learn about the experiences they will have with the Honors College.
Student Union Denman Room (SU 2.01.28), Main Campus
This UTSA tradition marks the start of a new academic year. All new students gather together as UTSA President Taylor Eighmy, administration and faculty welcome them to Roadrunner Nation.
Convocation Center, Main Campus and overflow seating in Recreation and Wellness Center
This is an opportunity for students to learn everything they need to know about their major and college. Each UTSA academic college has a lot to offer including mentoring, class information, support and research opportunities.
Various locations, Main and Downtown Campus
This is a casual event where new students can meet their college mentor.
Recreation and Wellness Center, Main Campus
Come show your Roadrunner Spirit by joining President Eighmy, our very own Rowdy, The Spirit of San Antonio Marching Band (SOSA), your fellow students, faculty and staff as we light the Monument at our Main Campus entrance at the stroke of midnight to mark the start of a new academic year.
John Peace Blvd. entrance, Main Campus
Roadrunner Nation! Show off your UTSA pride by sporting blue and orange UTSA swag to celebrate the start of the fall semester. Students, faculty, staff, alumni and Roadrunner families on and off-campus are encouraged to participate.
The UTSA community is invited to attend a series of Community Networking Socials hosted by the Student Center for Community Engagement and Inclusion during Roadrunner Days. Various opportunities will be available that will focus on our diverse population in a come and go setting.
H-E-B Student Union Harris Room (HSU 2.212) and Travis Room (HSU 2.202), Main Campus
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