Emboflow: Prevention of intraprocedural stroke through flow modulation
The present study aims at setting-up a robust, reliable, and repeatable in-vitro model to quantify the distribution of emboli caused by dislodged calcifications with the final goal to test hypotheses and devices to avoid cerebral emboli.
A mock silicone model of an idealised aorta has been created and connected to a circulatory loop (see Fig.1) driven by a centrifugal flow pump (Medtronic Bioconsole BIO-MEDICUS 550, Minneapolis, MN, USA). The supra-aortic branches are distally merged to one vessel in order to enable a flow quantification in two major directions: cranial (CRA), i.e., towards the cerebral circulation; caudal (CAU), i.e., towards the descending aorta. Two needle valves are used to set the CRA/CAU flow split ratio, at 35/65, respectively. A bolus with a predefined distribution of particles with an average diameter of 0.5mm, (Amberlite, Sigma-Aldrich), is injected at level of the aortic root by a syringe pump in less than 5 seconds. The released particles are captured by two filter baskets, one for each direction. The captured particles are dried and weighed to evaluate the particle split as function of the following controlled parameters: 1) flow rate (3-4 l/min); 2) release location (left, right).