Areas of focus
Optimal approaches and methods for cardiac investigation can be determined through the integration of basic imaging science (technology development) with clinical interventional applications (design and evaluation) and pilot studies in the IRCCI.
Main areas of research
- Revascularization (improving blood supply by opening closed vessels minimally invasively)
- Regenerative medicine (stem cell work)
- Resynchronization therapies or “re-wiring” for irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias).
Assessment of improved blood delivery to affected muscle for catheter-based revascularization of an acute myocardial infarction: This may be achieved using MRI and ultrasound, complementary to standard X-ray angiography guidance.
Expanded treatment options for patients with chronic total occlusion (CTO) who may not normally be eligible for interventional procedures: The need to construct tools that allow the visualization of the CTO, to guide interventions in the treatment of CTOs, and to prevent perforations of the arterial wall has become a critical goal of our research. The success of these new imaging models will be measured by the impact they have on patients’ outcomes.
New approaches in cardiac imaging to facilitate catheter ablation of complex arrhythmias: Ablations may be guided anatomically as well as electrically to reduce X-ray exposure, improve efficiency, minimize risk to critical structures and enhance efficacy of the procedure. The anatomic guidance will be provided by an optimal combination of MRI, ultrasound and magnetic positioning.
Gene cell therapy as an alternative to promote the growth of new vessels where re-opening of existing vessels is not feasible to improve blood supply to the heart muscle: MRI, ultrasound and magnetic positioning will identify the target zones of the heart muscle, monitor and assist delivery and distribution of the agent and assess regional improvement in blood supply.
Future developments in minimally invasive coronary surgery will involve the ability to identify target vessels efficiently, to guide therapy and to immediately assess the functional and anatomic integrity of the newly created bypass graft.