Rates of heart disease have risen tremndously over the past few decades and most know of someone who has struggled or is dealing with the disease. The leading cause of death for men and women in the United States is heart disease, claiming one of every four deaths in 2006. Coronary artery disease which may lead to a heart attack is the most common form of heart disease in the United States. In 2006, 785,000 heart attacks were reported, and 470,000 heart attacks occurred amongst those who already experienced a heart attack previously.
Cardiovascular Bioengineering is a field within Biomedical Engineering that studies the causes and prevention of heart disease.
Cardiovascular Bioengineering examines all aspects of cardiac health. This field includes several specialized disciplines such as:
One specifc area that cardiovascular bioengineering focuses on is the interaction of implanted prosethes like stents and internal heart monitoring devices. This analysis occurs at the molecular level determing the results of collagen and smooth-muscle cells on cell proliferation and ingrowth occurring on prosthetic grafts. This study includes:
Cardiovascular bioengineering also looks at new approaches to devices like stents and stent grafts that treat aortic aneurysms and dissections. Older populations are at significant risk to aortic aneurysms and dissections which is an undetected early or late endoleak caused during endovascular repair.
The magnitude of heart disease is prompting in-depth analysis of the body specific to detecting, monitoring, and treating the heart. Cardiovascular bioengineering is one of many biomedical engineering disciplines seeking to improve health through the most thorough research and innovative technology.