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3D measurements of blood flow and biomarker calculation: hydrodynamic testing and health at Centrale Nantes

Trials are currently underway at Centrale Nantes as part of Marco Castagna's thesis at LHEEA (Centrale Nantes / CNRS) in collaboration with the 'Institut du Thorax' (CHU / INSERM / CNRS / University of Nantes). This thesis aims to set up a test bench for the validation of blood flow measured in patients using new MRI techniques, called "4D flow MRI ", and super-resolution algorithms used to improve these MRI measurements.

on September 6, 2018

4D flow MRI provides 3D measurements of blood flow in the human body and calculates bio-markers such as blood flow in vessels, the friction produced by the blood against the vessel walls, blood pressure, pulse wave velocity or eddies formed in certain vessels. A biomarker is a physical or chemical feature that can help identify and track a pathology quantitatively so as to speed up diagnosis and improve patient management. The low spatial resolution of 4D flow MRI limits its clinical applications, restricting examinations to larger vessels for now and posing still significant challenges for the calculation of bio-markers.

The test bench developed at LHEEA is a Mock Circulation Loop (MCL) which comprises a "vascular ghost " and a kind of artificial heart, precisely reproducing the pulsatile flow conditions of circulation in the vessels. The system will be used to validate the 4D flow MRI measurements and a new post-processing algorithm of these measurements, by comparing the velocity and friction results obtained by medical imaging with those obtained on the test bench using Laser Doppler Velocimetry (LDV), a high-precision technique.

More specifically, the MCL is composed of a pulsatile pump, compatible with an MRI, hydraulic connectors, a "vascular ghost" (a kind of vessel model) and a reservoir.
For MRI measurements a box - containing a gel that simulates human tissue - is positioned around the ghost. The fluid is a mixture of water and glycerol, which will reproduce the physical properties of the blood.

This thesis is supervised by David Le Touzé (LHEEA - Laboratory of Hydrodynamics, Energetics and Atmospheric Environment - Centrale Nantes / CNRS) and Jean-Michel Serfaty (Institut du Thorax and Nantes University Hospital) and co-supervised by Félicien Bonnefoy ( LHEEA - Centrale Nantes / CNRS).
Published on September 7, 2018 Updated on January 23, 2020