Vascular health and function are negatively affected by the chronic condition of heart failure. Current mechanical circulatory support devices to treat heart failure are continuous flow devices that significantly alter natural pulsatile blood flow, which may further exacerbate vascular dysfunction. Our laboratory is interested in the response of the vasculature to altered hemodynamic conditions in the heart failure setting. We also implement and investigate device control strategies that restore pulsatile blood flow with the goal of improving vascular health and patient outcomes. To accomplish these goals, we utilize various experimental models (computer simulation, benchtop testing, and in vivo) to accurately simulate clinical conditions. The interaction between heart disease, mechanical circulatory support devices,
and vascular response are quantified through geometric and protein remodeling, mechanical properties, vascular function assays, and immunohistochemistry.