UNO’s Biomechanics Seminar Series continued last Thursday with an entry from Dr. Jason MacTaggart from the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
Dr. MacTaggart gave participants a glimpse at his work on the study of arteries and methods of vascular repair for open surgeries.
“We use our experimental data to help create computer models of functioning arteries,” MacTaggart said, “and like Boeing models a jet under different flight conditions to look for weaknesses in a wing, our lab models arteries repaired with different devices or materials to look for weaknesses in our current therapeutic approaches.”
Dr. MacTaggart said his studies focus on arteries all around the body from head to toe, and how to repair them efficiently. He said new ways have been discovered, such as approaching the artery from one area of the body, running a tube and using an x-ray to see and fix it.
“Even though this has been around 20-30 years, there’s a lot left to be learned and done,” MacTaggart said.
The hope is that by combining these newer experimental methods with classic knowledge of atomical human studies, new ways of vascular and endovascular surgery will create less problems for patients later.
Much of the problem with these surgeries comes from repair durability, high cost and complications later in life. MacTaggart hoped by utilizing these new methods, surgeons would be able to perform these surgeries with a precision that was once not thought possible.
An example of the success this type of surgery has shown is with blunt aortic injuries. Open surgery had a 31% mortality rate and an 8.7% paraplegia, while endovascular surgery had just a 13% mortality and 1.6% paraplegia.
With every situation, MacTaggart readily stated his case for the new methods of surgery and how it improved upon the current form, making a point that although biomechanics has come very far in saving lives, it can continue to grow more.
As this series continues at UNO, who knows what the next biomechanics innovation will be and how science will continue to evolve and change lives?