An introduction to our research

Intracranial aneurysms (IA) are pathological dilations of the intracranial arterial wall, which affects as many as 5% of the entire population. Aneurysms are mostly asymptomatic until they rupture, but the consequence of rupture- subarachnoid hemorrhage- is catastrophic: greater than 50% mortality at 30 days and greater than 50% permanent disability among survivors.

The use of non-invasive medical imaging has increased the discovery rate of unruptured IAs in the general population. Treatment options, including open skull surgery (miscrosurgical clip ligation) or endovascular strategies (coil embolization and stent placement) carry significant risk of serious complications, raising the issues of which ruptured aneurysms to treat, and how and when to treat them. The heart of this dilemma is that the natural history and pathogenesis of aneurysms remains unclear and persistently debated. Thus it is the goal of the Hemodynamics & Vascular Biology Lab to understand the natural history of IAs so that we can improve clinical diagnosis and advance treatment.

To achieve these goals we seek to find answers to four major questions: Why do aneurysms form? Why do they grow? Why do they rupture? And, how can we improve their treatment? Working with a multi-disciplinary team, we combine advanced engineering tools and engineering design with medical imaging, as well as cellular and molecular biology techniques to answer these questions. Using the following links you can learn more about the specific research topics currently being studied by the Hemodynamics and Vascular Biology Lab.