Cardiovascular Experimental Laboratory

The Cardiovascular Experimental (CAVE) lab applies hemodynamics and biomechanics into investigating various conditions and diseases in the cardiovascular system. The approach involves both numerical studies as well as in vitro experimental studies. Furthermore, we are in close collaboration with the Clinical Institute at Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital for continuing the research into animal and clinical experiments.

The in vitro pulsatile flow loop is based on the ViVitro SuperPump.
The in vitro pulsatile flow loop is based on the ViVitro SuperPump. Photo: Lars Kruse, AU Foto.
Typical physiological-like pressure recordings from the in vitro flow loop.
Typical physiological-like pressure recordings from the in vitro flow loop. Figure: Peter Johansen, AU.

Primary focus

The primary focus of our investigations is on the test and evaluation of prosthetic heart valves both surgical types (mechanical and bioprosthetic) and percutaneous catheter inserted valves (TAVI), as well characterising the effect of various types of surgical procedures.

Mechanical heart valve cavitation experiments.
Mechanical heart valve cavitation experiments. Photos: Peter Johansen, AU.
Three-dimensional strain measurement on aortic valve leaflet based on digital image correlation.
Three-dimensional strain measurement on aortic valve leaflet based on digital image correlation. Photos: Peter Johansen, AU.
Preparation of a porcine aortic root.
Preparation of a porcine aortic root.

Experimental modalities

In the CAVE lab, our experimental modalities include recording of pressure (Millar microtip catheters), flow (Transonic transit time flowmeter and GE Vivid i ultrasound scanner), high speed imaging (two Photron Fastcam SA3 for 3D analyses), digital image correlation analysis for strain recording in tissues (ARAMIS software), custom built strain gauge based transducer (for force measurements in various structures) and 3D print of force transducers, flow phantoms or other structures.

Titanium aortic valve commissural force transducer (3D printed). Photos: Peter Johansen, AU.
Titanium aortic valve commissural force transducer (3D printed). Photos: Peter Johansen, AU.
Image segmentation and calculation of aortic valve orifice area from high speed recordings. Photos: Peter Johansen, AU.
Image segmentation and calculation of aortic valve orifice area from high speed recordings. Photos: Peter Johansen, AU.
Three-dimensional strain measurement on aortic valve leaflet based on digital image correlation. Figure: Peter Johansen, AU.
Three-dimensional strain measurement on aortic valve leaflet based on digital image correlation. Figure: Peter Johansen, AU.

Goals

Our goal is to provide basic knowledge of cardiovascular pathological conditions and various implant characteristics for better and improved treatment of patients.