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Biomedical Engineering

Faculty Mentor: Amy Curry

Faculty Mentor's Department: Biomedical Engineering

Telephone Number and/or E-mail: x2017; amy.curry@memphis.edu

Project Description: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a debilitating and potentially life-threatening heart disorder that affects two million people each year in the US alone.  In AF, the two small upper chambers of the heart, the atria, quiver and are not able to effectively pump blood out of the chambers.  Blood clots are likely to form in the atria.  The clots can leave the atria and can ultimately become lodged in an artery in the brain and cause a stroke.  Approximately 15% of all strokes occur in patients with AF.  In patients with atrial fibrillation, defibrillation therapy is often given in the form of a strong electric shock to revert the atria back to normal activity.  The electric shock is delivered to the patient through two electrodes placed on the chest.  We have previously developed a physiologically realistic computer model of the human torso for simulating defibrillation.  The goal of this project is to use our existing computer model to simulate atrial defibrillation.  Specifically, we will explore new electrode placements to determine the configuration that can defibrillate with the lowest shock energy.  This will require the student to work with both PC and UNIX workstations.  The student will:  (1) develop and visualize new electrode placements with computer graphics, and (2) input the new electrode placements into the computer model to calculate defibrillation shock energy. 

Requirements for Student Applicants: Please send resume to amy.curry@memphis.edu. Some experience with MATLAB required.  The student will be trained to use existing programs.

Starting Date: anytime

Method of Compensation (Volunteer, Academic Credit, or Stipend): Volunteer, Academic Credit, or Stipend depending on funding availability.

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Last Updated: 11/15/12