Cardiovascular Biomechanics Research Group

Lally Lab, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

About US


Our research is focused on arterial tissue mechanics, vascular imaging, vascular mechanobiology and tissue engineering. We aim to gain critical insights into the role of mechanics in cardiovascular diseases, with particular focus on load induced remodelling and regeneration of arterial tissues at the material and cell level.

Using non-invasive vascular imaging techniques, such as Diffusion Tensor Magnetic Resonance Imaging, we aim to develop novel diagnostic techniques for early detection of vascular degeneration.

We also use in vitro and in silico modeling approaches to aid the design and development of intravascular medical devices for the treatment of existing vascular disease.

Prof. Caitríona Lally is a Professor in Bioengineering within the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering and Principal Investigator in the Trinity Centre for Biomedical (TCBE) in Trinity College Dublin (TCD). She received her BEng (Mechanical Engineering) and MEng (Biomedical Engineering) degrees from University of Limerick and in 2004 she obtained a PhD from Trinity College Dublin in the area of arterial biomechanics and cardiovascular stenting. Immediately following her Ph.D., she took up a lecturing position in the School of Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering at Dublin City University, and was appointed senior lecturer in 2014. She recently returned to TCD in 2015 as a Professor in Bioengineering.

Our research


ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING

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ARTERIAL TISSUE MECHANICS

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COMPUTATIONAL MODELLING

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PROSTHETIC HEART VALVE MECHANICS

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TISSUE ENGINEERING

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VASCULAR IMAGING

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VASCULAR MECHANOBIOLOGY

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research team


Dr. Alix Whelan

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Collagen fibre-mediated fatigue mechanics of pericardium for use in Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacements

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Dr. Ciara McKenna

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

In-silico investigation into stent design for aortic coarctation treatment

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Brooke Tornifoglio

PhD Candidate

Characterisation of arterial tissue by diffusion tensor imaging

Celia Hughes

PhD Candidate

The development of bioinspired prosthetic heart valve leaflets for TAVR using additive manufacturing and finite element modelling

Conor O'Keeffe

PhD Candidate

Robert Johnston

PhD Candidate

Fundamental insights into rupture mechanisms of atherosclerotic plaque tissue: Determining possible new diagnostic measures of plaque vulnerability

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Sam Geraghty

PhD Candidate

Optimisation and 3D Printing of Paediatric Stents

Yasmine Guendouz

PhD Candidate

Using Machine Learning to identify the critical features of carotid artery plaque vulnerability from Ultrasound images

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Alice Hanly

MAI Student

Derbhla McMullan

MAI Student

Optimisation and 3D printing of polymer paediatric stents

Helena Brech

MSc Student

Arterial tissue microstructure implications on plaque rupture based on quantitative T1 and T2 MRI measurements

Jemil Saidi

MSc Student

Optimisation and 3D printing of Titanium paediatric stents

Claire Lemass

Research Internship

Floriane Bernasconi

Research Internship

Luke Guerin

Research Internship

Dr. Orla McGee

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Designing bespoke stents optimized for both patient needs and for selective laser melting (3D printing) and development of an agent-based model in Matlab to assess smooth muscle cell response varying levels of cyclic strain.

Dr. Alan Stone

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Non-invasive vascular imaging techniques

Dr. David Nolan

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Investigating cardiovascular biomechanics and mechanobiology using computational and experimental methods.

Dr. Emma Fitzpatrick

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Investigating the role of collagen fibre structure and strain on vascular cell proliferation and differentiation

Dr. Robert Gaul

PhD Candidate

Fundamental Insights into Arterial Remodelling; Strain-Mediated Degradation of Arterial Collagen

Dr. Pattie Mathieu

PhD Candidate

Multipotent vascular stem cells and the effects of cyclic tensile strain, collagen structure and stenting on medial vascular cell populations

Dr. Milad Ghasemi

PhD Candidate

Mechanical Assessment of the Risk of Atherosclerotic Plaque Rupture in Carotid Arteries with a Focus on Damage Accumulation

publications


ERC Starting Grant


FibreRemodel 

Frontier research in arterial fibre remodelling for vascular disease diagnosis and tissue engineering

Summary

Each year cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis and aneurysms cause 48% of all deaths in Europe. Arteries may be regarded as fibre-reinforced materials, with the stiffer collagen fibres present in the arterial wall bearing most of the load during pressurisation. Degenerative vascular diseases such as atherosclerosis and aneurysms alter the macroscopic mechanical properties of arterial tissue and therefore change the arterial wall composition and the quality and orientation of the underlying fibrous architecture. Information on the complex fibre architecture of arterial tissues is therefore at the core of understanding the aetiology of vascular diseases. The current proposal aims to use a combination of in vivo Diffusion Tensor Magnetic Resonance Imaging, with parallel in silico modelling, to non-invasively identify differences in the fibre architecture of human carotid arteries which can be directly linked with carotid artery disease and hence used to diagnose vulnerable plaque rupture risk. Knowledge of arterial fibre patterns, and how these fibres alter in response to their mechanical environment, also provides a means of understanding remodelling of tissue engineered vessels. Therefore, in the second phase of this project, this novel imaging framework will be used to determine fibre patterns of decellularised arterial constructs in vitro with a view to directing mesenchymal stem cell growth and differentiation and creating a biologically and mechanically compatible tissue engineered vessel. In silico mechanobiological models will also be used to help identify the optimum loading environment for the vessels to encourage cell repopulation but prevent excessive intimal hyperplasia. This combination of novel in vivo, in vitro and in silico work has the potential to revolutionise approaches to early diagnosis of vascular diseases and vascular tissue engineering strategies

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Vacancies


Postdoctoral Research Fellows

Postdoctoral research fellowships in bench-top testing and modelling of implantable urological devices.

Contact


  • Lally Lab, Department of Mechanical, Manufacturing & Biomedical Engineering Parons Building Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2