The cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) group at CMIV is developing novel imaging and image analysis methods for the analysis of hemodynamics in the cardiovascular system. One area of focus is the ascending aorta. The ascending aorta is the region of the aorta where blood first leaves the heart and enters the systemic circulation. As the heart ejects the blood at high velocities, this region of the aorta is exposed to high shear stresses. Unfortunately, as we age, the wall tends to weaken, and it is prone to dilation. A dilated ascending aorta can be dangerous as the weakened wall may rupture.
We are working with clinicians to develop state-of-the-art MRI-based analyses that examine the mechanical stresses the aorta experiences and understand the processes that drive pathologies of the ascending aorta.
To more accurately analyze the ascending aorta, it can be useful to divide this region into smaller segments based on anatomical orientation. For example, the posterior wall of the ascending aorta can experience extreme stresses as a result of diseased aortic valves.
Therefore, the goal of this project is to develop a method to automatically divide the ascending aorta into more clinically relevant regions.
The project is suitable for a student with an interest in medical image analysis, and with good Matlab programming skills.