Team 1429 Members
Andrea Acuna, biomedical engineering
Sean Ashley, optical sciences and engineering
Matthew Davis, biomedical engineering
Matt Kirk, systems and industrial engineering
Marysol Luna, biomedical engineering
Carmelo Moraila, mechanical engineering
Sponsor: Jonathan Vande Geest, director of the UA Soft Tissue Biomechanics Laboratory
Team 1429 is designing, fabricating and testing an endovascular device for the treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysm, known as AAA, which is an enlargement of the lower part of the aorta, a major blood vessel that runs from the heart through the center of the chest and abdomen. Treatments include open surgical repair and endovascular aortic repair, in which a stent graft is placed inside the aorta via a catheter to relieve pressure on the wall of the aorta.
As an alternative to the rigid metal mesh stents used to treat AAA, Jonathan Vande Geest, UA associate professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering and bioengineering, is working on a polymer that can be sprayed onto a 3-D printed construct taken from a CT scan of the patient’s aorta, which allows for the design of a flexible, patient-specific device.
“Currently, AAA is treated with rigid, metallic stent grafts that may not conform to the aorta of the patient,” Vande Geest said. “This leads to the exclusion of some patients who have an AAA that is anatomically complex and more difficult to treat.”
Although patients with AAA may show no symptoms, rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm can cause life-threatening internal bleeding. At least 13,000 deaths are attributed to AAA rupture in the United States every year.