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Pediatric Cardiovascular Research

Pediatric Cardiovascular Research

The Pediatric Cardiovascular Research is a multi-disciplinary research team with the goal to improve the outcomes for children undergoing cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass and mechanical circulatory support.

Contact us

To contact the Pediatric Cardiovascular Research Office, call 717-531-5656.

Overview

Over the past 12 years, we have established a multi-disciplinary research team with the goal to improve the outcomes for children undergoing cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass and mechanical circulatory support. Our research has been established with the collaboration of teams from multiple academic departments and representing multiple disciplines. This center combines basic science, engineering, and clinical applications under the unified mission of pediatric cardiovascular research. Scientists and clinicians in the center represent the departments of Pediatrics, Surgery, Bioengineering, Anesthesiology, Comparative Medicine, Public Health Sciences, Pharmacology, and Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Our major objective is the development of novel technologies and methodologies to be used in minimizing the adverse effects of cardiovascular operations and cardiopulmonary bypass in neonates, infants, and children. Particular attention will be focused on reducing the associated morbidities of cerebral, myocardial, pulmonary, and renal injury.

Our long term aspirations are:

  • Establish The Penn State Pediatric Cardiovascular Research as a leading center for further development  of novel treatments and cutting edge devices for cardiovascular health in pediatric populations both at Penn State Children's Hospital and at other pediatric heart centers around the world.
  • Educate more bioengineers, medical students, residents, post-doctoral fellows and junior faculty members in pediatric cardiovascular research.
  • Ensure that our international conference continues to be the leading conference for defining the problems of current mechanical circulatory support systems in pediatric patients and suggesting appropriate solutions for these pediatric cardiac patients.

Akif Ündar, PhD
Professor of Pediatrics, Surgery, and Bioengineering

John L. Myers, MD
Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics

Brian Clark, MD
Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics

Shigang Wang, MD
Research Assistant of Pediatrics

Allen R. Kunselman, MA
Director of Biostatistical Consulting, Division of Biostatistics

Ronald P. Wilson, VMD, MS
Professor of Comparative Medicine 

Jenelle M. Izer, DVM, MS 
Assistant Professor of Comparative Medicine

Timothy K. Cooper, DVM, PhD
Associate Professor of Comparative Medicine and Pathology

Christoph E. Brehm, MD
Director of Heart and Vascular Institute Critical Care Unit and Adult ECMO Program

Kristen M. Glass, MD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Director of Neonatal ECMO

Jianxun Song, PhD
Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology

Neal J. Thomas, MD, MSc
Professor of Pediatrics and Public Health Sciences

Vernon M Chinchilli, PhD
Distinguished Professor, Division of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics and Chair, Public Health Sciences

Zissis C Chroneos, PhD 
Associate Professor of Pediatrics

Patricia Silveyra, PhD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Stephen Cyran, MD
Professor of Pediatrics

Howard Weber, MD
Professor of Pediatrics

Clinical Perfusionists

  • Larry Baer, CCP
  • David Palanzo, CCP
  • Robert Wise, CCP
  • Karl Woitas, CCP

Clinical Research Nurses

  • Jennifer Stokes, BSN, RN, CCRC
  • Jessica Beiler, MPH, CCRC
  • Amyee McMonagle, RN, BSN, CCRC
  • Julie Vallati, LPN, CCRC
  • Amy Shelly, LPN
  • Patricia Carper, RN, BSN, CCRC
  • Heather Stokes

Clinical Research Fellows

  • Deborah R. Thurston, MD (NICU, 2009-2012)
  • Sunil Patel, MD, (Pediatric Cardiology, 2013-2014)
  • Conrad Krawiec, MD (PICU, 2013-2014)
  • Payal Trivedi, DO (NICU, 2015-2017)

Post-Doctoral Research Fellows

  • Bingyang Ji, MD (Pediatrics, 2005-2007)
  • Sung Yang, PhD (Bioengineering, 2006-2007)
  • Shigang Wang, MD (Pediatrics, 2007-2008)
  • Yulong Guan, MD (Pediatrics 2008-2009)
  • Feng Qiu, MD (Pediatrics, 2009-2011)

Medical Student Research (MSR)

  • Khin Win, BS (3rd MS, 2008-2009)
  • Nikkole Haines, BS (1st MS, 2008-2009)
  • Chiajung Karen Lu, BS, MS (1st MS, 2008-2009)
  • Ashley Rogerson, BS (2nd MS, 2008-2009)
  • My-Le Nguyen, BS (3rd MS, 2008-2009)
  • Akemi Miller, BS (3rd MS, 2008-2009)
  • Stella Yee, BS (1st MS, 2009)
  • Xiaowei (Bill) Su, BS (MD/PhD student, 2009-2010)
  • Jonathan Talor, BS (MD/PhD student, 2009- 2010)
  • Mehmet Can Uluer, B.S. (2nd yr. MS, 2009-2010)
  • Arash Salavitabar, BS (3rd MS, 2010)
  • Rahul Vasavada, MS. (1st MS, 2010)
  • Sameer Khan, BS (1st MS, 2010)
  • Judith Lin, BS (1st MS, 2011)
  • Natalie M. Dogal, BS (1st MS, 2011)
  • Ryan K. Mathis, BS (1st MS, 2011)
  • Oliver F. Noel, BS (MD/PhD student, Summer 2012)
  • Ranjodh Dhami, BS (MD/PhD student, Summer 2012)
  • Neelima Marupudi, BA ( 1st MS, Spring 2012)
  • Pelumi Adedayo, BS (3rd yr. MS, 2012)
  • Alissa Evenson (1st MS, Summer 2013)
  • Shannon Spencer, BS (1st MS, Summer 2015)
  • Elizabeth Profeta, BS, (1st MS, Summer 2016)
  • Kaitlyn Shank, BS (1st MS, Summer 2016)
  • Morgan Moroi, B.S. (1st yr. MS, Summer 2017)
  • Madison Force, B.S. (1st yr. MS, Summer 2017)

Undergraduate / Graduate  Engineering Students

  • Sung Yang (PhD Student in Bioengineering, PSU, 2004-2006)
  • Larry Sasso, BS (PhD student in Bioengineering, Rutgers University, 2008-2012)
  • Kiana Aran, BS (PhD student in Bioengineering, Rutgers University, 2008-2012)
  • Alan Rider (Undergraduate Research, PSU, 2006-2009) 
  • John W. Myers (Undergraduate Research, PSU, 2007)
  • Robert S. Schreiner (Undergraduate Research, Allegheny College, PA, Summer 2007)
  • Tushar Karkhanis (Undergraduate Research, University of Pittsburgh, PA, Summer 2008)
  • Daniel James Farrell (Undergraduate Research, Physics, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA, Summer 2011)
  • Brian Chin (Undergraduate Research, Washington University, St. Louis, Summer 2013)
  • Rachel Wolfe (Undergraduate Research, Bioengineering, PSU, Summer 2014)
  • Ashton Strother (Undergraduate research, Summer 2014)
  • Hideshi Itoh (PhD Student in Clinical Engineering, Okayama University, Okayama, Japan, 2013-2015
  • Christian O’Connor (Undergraduate research, Summer 2016)
  • Rachel Wolfe (Undergraduate Honors Thesis, Bioengineering, Schreyer Honors College, PSU, 2016-2017)

High School Students

  • Ashton Strother (Huron High School, Ann Arbor, MI, Summer 2012)
  • Franky Gentile (Hershey High School, Hershey, PA, Summer 2013)
  • Sarah Hafiz (Lancaster Country Day School, Lancaster, PA, Summer 2013)
  • Sonia Hafiz (Lancaster Country Day School, Lancaster, PA, Summer 2013)

National and International Research Collaborators

Tami Rosenthal, CCP, MBA
Chief Perfusionist of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Jeffrey D. Zahn, PhD
Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Rutgers' University, NJ, USA

Sung Yang, PhD
Professor of School of Mechatronics, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), Korea

Kyung Sun, MD, PhD, MBA 
Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Korea University, Seoul, South Korea

Luiz F. Caneo, MD, PhD 
Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Heart Institute, University of Sao Paulo Medical School, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Giovanni Battista Luciani, MD
Professor of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery, University of Verona, School of Medicine, Verona, Italy

Emile A. Bacha, MD
Calvin F. Barber Professor of Surgery, Chief, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, Director, Pediatric Cardiac Surgery, Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, New York, NY, USA

Antonio Amodeo, MD
Professor of Cardiac Surgery, Bambino Gesù Children Hospital, and Catholic University of Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy

Ecuador Mission Program (Clinical)

Over the last 15 years, the Penn State Children's Hospital has annually deployed a team of specialists (including pediatric heart surgeons, cardiologists, anesthesiologists, intensivists, perfusionists, nurses, and medical students) to perform life-saving heart surgery for children at the Hospital de los Niños in Guayaquil, Ecuador.   In addition to the providing a charitable clinical service, the team also continues to provide direct education to the local surgeons and clinicians, with the goal of fostering an independent, self-sustaining pediatric heart surgery program at our Children's Hospital. 

International Conference on Pediatric Mechanical Circulatory Support Systems and Pediatric Cardiopulmonary Perfusion (Clinical/ Basic Science/ Engineering)

The main objective of this conference is to focus on the current problems associated with pediatric cardiac patients during and after acute or chronic cardiac support. In this conference, we bring together as many distinguished physicians and scientists as possible, in order to precisely define the current problems and to suggest solutions with novel approaches. During the past 12 events (2005-2016), over 3,000 participants from 34 countries appreciate 1,049 presentations along with over 435 peer-reviewed publications including original articles, editorials, special reports, letters and case reports.

International Conference website

Impact of Pulsatile CPB on Vital Organ Recovery (Clinical/ Basic Science/ Engineering)

This study is designed to investigate the effects of pulsatile flow versus conventional non-pulsatile flow on systemic inflammation, and cerebral, myocardial, renal, and pulmonary recovery at different temperatures in neonates and infants during CPB.

Application of real time intra-operative neurologic monitoring on management of pediatric cardiopulmonary bypass (Clinical)

The objective of this research is to incorporate advanced neurologic monitoring techniques using a multi-disciplinary team approach to proactively identify and mitigate high risk periods during pediatric cardiopulmonary bypass.

Microemboli Detection and Classification by Innovative Ultrasound Technology During Cardiopulmonary Bypass Procedures (Clinical/ Engineering)

The objective of this study is to detect and classify the number and size of gaseous microemboli during normothermic, hypothermic and deep-hypothermic cardiopulmonary bypass.

In vitro comparison of two neonatal ECMO circuits using a roller or centrifugal pump with three different in-line hemoconcentrators for maintaining hemodynamic energy delivery to the patient  (Clinical/ Engineering)

The objective of this study was to compare three different hemoconcentrators (Hemocor HPH 400, Mini and Junior) with two different neonatal ECMO circuits using a roller or a centrifugal pump at different pseudo-patient pressures and flow rates in terms of hemodynamic properties. This evidence based research is necessary to optimize the ECMO circuitry for neonates.

In Vitro Evaluation of ECG-Synchronized Pulsatile Flow in Neonatal and Pediatric ECLS Systems (Clinical/ Engineering)

The objective of this study was to assess the novel electrocardiogram (ECG)-synchronized cardiac assist system in terms of hemodynamic energy properties for off-label uses in neonatal and pediatric ECLS circuits.

Evaluation and Comparison of Hemodynamic Performance of Three ECLS Systems in a Simulated Adult Cardiogenic Shock Model (Clinical/ Engineering)

The objective of this study was to evaluate three commercially available ECLS systems with rotary pumps in terms of circuit pressure, pressure drop, and hemodynamic energy transmission in a simulated adult cardiogenic shock model.

Evaluation of hemodynamic performance of a combined ECLS and CRRT circuit in seven positions with a simulated neonatal patient (Clinical/ Engineering)

Since it is common for patients treated with extracorporeal life support (ECLS) to subsequently require continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT), and neonatal patients encounter limitations due to lack of access points, inclusion of CRRT in the ECLS circuit could provide advanced treatment for this population. The objective of this study is to evaluate an alternative neonatal extracorporeal life support (ECLS) circuit containing either a centrifugal pump or roller pump with one of seven configurations of CRRT using the Prismaflex 2000 System.

Evaluation of Neonatal/Pediatric/Adult Hollow-fiber Membrane Oxygenators on Hemodynamic Performance and Gaseous Microemboli Handling: An International Multicenter/ Multidisciplinary Approach (Clinical/ Engineering)

The objective of this study is to compare the hemodynamic performances and gaseous microemboli (GME) handling ability of several neonatal/pediatric/adult oxygenators in a simulated cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) models and the importance of adding an arterial filter in the CPB circuits.

Building a Better Neonatal ECLS Circuit: Comparison of Hemodynamic Performance and Gaseous Microemboli Handling in Different Pump and Oxygenator Technologies (Clinical/ Engineering)

The objective of this study is to evaluate hemodynamic performance and GME handling using an alternative neonatal ECLS circuit with two different pumps and polymethylpentene oxygenators in addition to the Better-Bladder in a simulated neonatal ECLS system.

Neonatal/Pediatric/Adult Extracorporeal Life Support Systems with Pulsatile and Non-Pulsatile flow:  Research and Education at Penn State Children's Hospital (Clinical/ Engineering)

The main objective of this proposal is to educate and train clinicians, with next generation ECLS oxygenators and blood pumps.

Discovery Proteomics During Pediatric Cardiac Surgery (Clinical/ Basic Science)

These studies use state-of-the art two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, liquid chromatography, and mass spectrometry along with multi-analyte profile immunoassays to identify altered serum proteins resulting from CPB perfusion modes. In addition, these studies may lead to the identification of specific preclinical markers that are associated with short- and long-term outcomes that can be used to further optimize strategies for CPB in high-risk pediatric populations.

In vitro Hemodynamic Evaluation of ECG-synchronized pulsatile flow as short-term cardiac assist device for neonatal and pediatric population

The objective of this study was to evaluate the ECG-synchronized diagonal pump in terms of hemodynamic energy properties for use as a short-term cardiac assist device in neonatal and pediatric patients.

In-vitro Hemodynamic Evaluation of ECG-Synchronized Pulsatile Flow in a Simulated Adult ECLS System

The novel ECLS system can generate pulsatile flow synchronized with a patient’s heartbeat. Currently, the impact of this system’s pulsatile settings on hemodynamic performance is unknown in adult patients. The objective of this study was to evaluate the electrocardiogram (ECG)-synchronized cardiac assist system in terms of hemodynamic energy generation and transmission under various pulsatile amplitudes, flow rates, and pseudo patient pressures in a simulated adult ECLS circuit.

Laboratory Evaluation of Hemolysis and Systemic Inflammatory Response in Neonatal Nonpulsatile and Pulsatile Extracorporeal Life Support Systems

The objective of this study is to compare the systemic inflammatory response and hemolytic characteristics of conventional roller pump and alternative diagonal pump with nonpulsatile and pulsatile mode in simulated neonatal extracorporeal life support (ECLS) systems.

In-vitro Hemodynamic Evaluation of Five 6 Fr and 8 Fr Arterial Cannulae in Simulated Neonatal CPB Circuits

The objective of this study is to evaluate five small-bore arterial cannulae (6 Fr and 8Fr) in terms of pressure drop and hemodynamic performance in simulated neonatal cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) circuits.

Impact of Pulsatility and Flow Rates on Hemodynamic Energy Transmission in an Adult ECLS System

The objective of this study is to investigate the total hemodynamic energy and surplus hemodynamic energy transmission of a novel adult ECLS system with non-pulsatile and pulsatile settings and varying pulsatility. The study intends to provide insight into what level of pulsatility is the most effective setting in this ECLS system.

Evaluation of hemodynamic performance of a combined ECLS and CRRT circuit in seven positions with a simulated neonatal patient (Clinical/ Engineering)

Since it is common for patients treated with extracorporeal life support (ECLS) to subsequently require continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT), and neonatal patients encounter limitations due to lack of access points, inclusion of CRRT in the ECLS circuit could provide advanced treatment for this population. The objective of this study is to evaluate an alternative neonatal extracorporeal life support (ECLS) circuit containing either a centrifugal pump or roller pump with one of seven configurations of CRRT using the Prismaflex 2000 System.

Evaluation of Neonatal/Pediatric/Adult Hollow-fiber Membrane Oxygenators on Hemodynamic Performance and Gaseous Microemboli Handling: An International Multicenter/ Multidisciplinary Approach (Clinical/ Engineering)

The objective of this study is to compare the hemodynamic performances and gaseous microemboli (GME) handling ability of several neonatal/pediatric/adult oxygenators in a simulated cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) models and the importance of adding an arterial filter in the CPB circuits.

Building a Better Neonatal ECLS Circuit: Comparison of Hemodynamic Performance and Gaseous Microemboli Handling in Different Pump and Oxygenator Technologies (Clinical/ Engineering)

The objective of this study is to evaluate hemodynamic performance and GME handling using an alternative neonatal ECLS circuit with two different pumps and polymethylpentene oxygenators in addition to the Better-Bladder in a simulated neonatal ECLS system.

Neonatal/Pediatric/Adult Extracorporeal Life Support Systems with Pulsatile and Non-Pulsatile flow:  Research and Education at Penn State Children's Hospital (Clinical/ Engineering)

The main objective of this proposal is to educate and train clinicians, with next generation ECLS oxygenators and blood pumps.

Discovery Proteomics During Pediatric Cardiac Surgery (Clinical/ Basic Science)

These studies use state-of-the art two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, liquid chromatography, and mass spectrometry along with multi-analyte profile immunoassays to identify altered serum proteins resulting from CPB perfusion modes. In addition, these studies may lead to the identification of specific preclinical markers that are associated with short- and long-term outcomes that can be used to further optimize strategies for CPB in high-risk pediatric populations.

Microdevices for Measuring CPB Systemic Inflammation (Engineering/Basic Science)

This study is designed to develop a novel approach to measuring plasma cytokine and complement concentrations in real-time within a microfluidic analytical system during cardiopulmonary bypass procedures.

Microfluidic Dialysis Platforms for Monitoring Cardiopulmonary Bypass Systemic Inflammation (Engineering/Basic Science)

The objective of this study is to design microanalytical devices capable of continuously measuring antigen-substrate binding by employing microfabrication techniques and designing a microfluidic immunoassay platform that is able to measure concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines and complement in vitro.

International Conference on Pediatric Mechanical Circulatory Support Systems and Pediatric Cardiopulmonary Perfusion (Clinical/ Basic Science/ Engineering)

The main objective of this conference is to focus on the current problems associated with pediatric cardiac patients during and after acute or chronic cardiac support. In this conference, we bring together as many distinguished physicians and scientists as possible, in order to precisely define the current problems and to suggest solutions with novel approaches. During the past 12 events (2005-2016), over 3,000 participants from 34 countries appreciate 1,049 presentations along with over 435 peer-reviewed publications including original articles, editorials, special reports, letters and case reports.

International Conference website

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