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Caroline George

In order to test and improve current surgical techniques, researchers frequently perform in vivo procedures on live pigs, whose anatomical structures are extremely similar to those of humans. While these procedures have led to progress, they have also generated concerns. Caroline George, a junior in Chemical Engineering, is seeking to develop more economically and ethically sound approaches to current porcine surgical testing techniques of heart valve repair.

George has designed an ex vivo porcine heart model to improve the currently used procedure. By developing a pulsatile pump that connects to porcine hearts and beats passively, she is able to develop a system that models the motions of a human heart inside the body. To make sure the porcine heart can exactly mimic the functions of a human heart, George attached flow and pressure sensors to the porcine system to collect measurements of ventricular pressure and cardiac output. While the research is still in its refinement stage, Caroline hopes to use these values to compare the functioning of her porcine ex vivo model with that of a live human heart.

George says that the most rewarding aspect of her experience was seeing the porcine model heartbeat for the first time. She also notes that this research opportunity has given her self-confidence and a deeper confirmation of her career goals. Caroline hopes to become a biomedical engineer and focus her work into the development of prosthetic apparatuses. George attended the Division of Fluid Dynamics Conference in Atlanta this past November to present her progress.

Caroline George is a 2018-2019 fellow for the College of Engineering and is being mentored by Dr. Vrishank Raghav.

Last modified: March 27, 2019