Based on a hospital-factory analogy, I apply manufacturing science and technology to medical innovation. Specifically, I investigate biological material (workpiece) properties, model surgical procedures (manufacturing processes), guide medical device (machine tool) design, and establish clinical manufacturing systems. To demonstrate how this hospital-factory analogy drives medical and manufacturing innovation, my research in two clinical procedures, atherectomy and thrombectomy, is presented in this talk. Atherectomy via a catheter utilizes a high-speed (120,000-210,000 rpm) diamond abrasive wheel to grind calcified plaque inside arteries to open a vessel blockage, restore blood flow, and treat cardiovascular diseases, the number one cause of death in the world. Thrombectomy cuts and removes blood clots from cerebral arteries by a suction catheter with a rotary cutter inside to treat stroke, the leading cause of long-term disability in the US. Experimental characterization of the catheter-based devices, computational fluid dynamics modeling of the atherectomy grinding wheel motion, smoothed particle hydrodynamics modeling of the plaque grinding and clot cutting, and mechanical testing of blood clots are introduced. I conclude this presentation by showcasing more projects in my current and future research, summarizing a three-theme research framework, and emphasizing the transdisciplinary collaboration.
Yihao Zheng recently joined the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) as an Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering. Before joining WPI, he worked as a Research Investigator in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan (UM). At the same time, he also was a Research Assistant at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from UM in 2016. His research focuses on advanced manufacturing and medical innovation. He applies manufacturing science and technology to tackle unmet clinical needs and enhance healthcare. He has collaborated with UMASS Medical School, Mayo Clinics, UM Medical School, VA Ann Arbor Health System, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, as well as medical device companies including Boston Scientific and Cardiovascular Systems Inc. His research has been funded by NSF, NIH, VA, Coulter Translational Research Partnership, UMMS, UM McKay award, and medical device companies.