UTSA engineer looks to save lives with $1.8 million NIH grant
(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
The Racial Justice Book Club was established at UTSA by members of the campus community to explore social justice following acts of racial violence across the nation over the last few years. We are reading The Injustice Never Leaves You: Anti-Mexican Violence in Texas by Monica Muñoz Martinez. We will meet every Wednesday in September and October at 2 pm on Zoom.Virtual Event
We invite you to learn about the process of screenwriting and explore the intersection of identity and pursuing dreams from Jorge Ramirez-Martinez and Raymond Perez, screenwriters for the Selena: The Series, released on Netflix. They will discuss their careers and writing process, including how their identities as Mexican American and gay men have shaped their professional experiences.Virtual Event
Please join us in remembering those who have entered the next part of life by designing a nicho box in their memory. This workshop will provide the necessary items to create your nicho box, though please remember to bring a photo or small object that can fit in a 3.5 x5x1 inch box (small jewelry box).John Peace Library GroupSpot B, Main Campus
Come celebrate the end of Hispanic Heritage Month with La Comunidad at The University of Texas at San Antonio. We will have food, games and dancing!H-E-B Student Union Ballroom 1 & 2, Main Campus
LMSA invites you to join us in celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month through an interactive cooking lesson! This cultural experience will teach you how to prepare a popular Mexican dish, street taquitos. You will be able to sample this dish and learn the recipe to use in your own home.Recreation Wellness Center Demo Kitchen
Future Roadrunners will see what Roadrunner life is all about at UTSA Day. All of Main Campus transforms into our UTSA Day open house for Future Roadrunners and their families to explore the university experience.Main Campus
Learn about the LGBTQIA+ community and being an Ally and advocate for LGBTQIA+ people, communities, and the issues that impact the LGBTQIA+ community.Multicultural Student Center for Equity and Justice Lounge, Main Campus