Harsh Patel is a second year PhD student in the Biomedical Engineering department working with Dr. Yogesh Vohra (Department of Physics) on a Bio-hybrid small diameter vascular graft project.  The Caroline P. Ireland Research Scholarship is awarded to graduate students who must travel to an out-of-state location to get access to library materials, to study at out-of-state research sites, or to learn new research techniques required to complete their research projects.”

“My research objective is to engineer small diameter (<6 mm) vascular grafts to mimic the native coronary artery as a potential treatment for coronary artery disease. Mechanical properties, thermal properties and surface characterizations of the engineered vascular graft were obtained successfully by utilizing facilities available at UAB. However, the most crucial fatigue characteristics of clinically viable vascular grafts are burst pressure and dynamic compliance. Therefore, I am going utilize the Caroline P. Ireland Research Scholarship to visit the Bose Electroforce® facility in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Bose Elctroforce® obtained ISO and ASTM approved facility called stent/graft test instrument for pulsatile distention. This instrument is designed to achieve mock artery diametric distention which can simulate exact in vivo environment and ability to go beyond for fatigue to fracture to predict long term behavior of the graft with up to 400-600 million cycles per test. The measurement system has laser optical technique to provide real-time distention data for a vascular graft. I will get trained to use the state of the art equipment as well as collect data which will be a vital part of my PhD thesis and future publication.”