CDT Postgraduate Studentship in Healthcare Innovation (RCUK Digital Economy Programme grant number EP/G036861/1)
Cerebral flow diverter design and modelling
Intracranial aneurysms are present in around 5% of the population. In most cases they remain entirely stable but aneurysm enlargement or rupture can cause serious neurological deficit and disability resulting from stroke. Aneurysms at risk of rupturing are treated using a variety of endovascular methods that encourage stabilisation through the formation of a thrombus (blood clot) in the aneurysm sac. My research focuses on the design of flow-diverting stents used to treat intracranial aneurysms, particularly exploring the effect of stent positioning and topology on the blood-flow entering the aneurysm sac. I use a variety of computational methods to convert MR and CT scans into patient specific geometries before virtually deploying a model stent into the aneurysm and calculating the change in both the steady state and pulsatile flow profiles in the aneurysm sac. The likelihood of thrombus formation induced by each stent design can then be estimated. This data is then used to evaluate the best treatment option and stent design for a given patient’s aneurysm. The outcome of this is a stent design that is better matched to a patient’s individual pathology, which reduces inflammation, neurological side effects and rupture risk resulting from treatment with current devices.