Professor Martyn Nash
University of Auckland
Biomechanics in heart disease
60 months

Lay summary

Cardiovascular disease is the largest cause of death worldwide. Effective diagnosis and treatment are hampered by a lack of knowledge of the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the development of disease. Biomechanical factors (stiffness and stress) are known to have important influences on heart function, but are difficult to quantify. We will develop novel tools for robust evaluation of biomechanical factors in heart disease. We will: 1) develop patient-specific models of heart biomechanics that will allow intrinsic muscle stiffness, contraction, relaxation, stress and work to be assessed through MRI and cardiac catheterisation, 2) develop capability to create similar models using echocardiographic imaging, 3) apply the new methods from 1 and 2 to patients at Auckland City Hospital. The new knowledge from this programme will elucidate the mechanisms of heart disease, which will enable better targeting of treatment, leading to better outcomes for patients and reduced health care costs.

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