The American Heart Association has awarded its 2006 Outstanding Research Award in Pediatric Cardiology to a University of Colorado at Boulder graduate student.
Rui Wang, who is working toward a doctoral degree in mechanical engineering, received the award for his development of an artificial right heart ventricle for use in pediatric patients. The cardiovascular assistive device, which is only about 2 square centimeters in size, could be surgically implanted to take over a child's missing right ventricle function.
The right and left ventricles pump blood through the body. In certain children, the heart develops abnormally, resulting in only one useful ventricle.
"I'm very excited to have designed a device that is really useful," Wang said.
He presented his research at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in Chicago in November and continues to work on incorporating the device into the cardiovascular system.
Wang's faculty advisers are CU-Boulder Professor Robin Shandas and Dr. François Lacour-Gayet, a cardiothoracic surgeon at The Children's Hospital in Denver. The National Institutes of Health and The Children's Hospital supported the research.