Thursday, January 21, 2010

Position paper published in Ann Biomed Eng

In March 2008 the illuminati of the biofluids community -- I know, I'm just begging for the BSL blog to be flagged as a conspiracy theory site -- got together for the Fifth Sixth Fifth Bio-Fluids Symposium and Workshop at Caltech. Much fun was had by all and, as a reward, the session organizers were conscripted to summarize their respective areas in a series of position papers, much as we did five years ago after the 2003 Symposium. These are just starting to show up online now, and will be published soon in a special issue of the Annals of Biomedical Engineering.

I have to say I had a great experience co-authoring, with Charley Taylor, our position paper, "Image-based modeling of blood flow and vessel wall dynamics: Applications, methods and future directions". Those of you who know Charley and I might be able to tell who wrote what sections, but reading the paper again -- it was submitted back in April 2009 -- it still feels seamless, and we're both really proud of it. After summarizing the impressive developments of various applications and methods over the past five years, the paper presents a pseudo-SWOT analysis to highlight the promise, but especially the potential pitfalls, as image-based modelling moves into its second decade.

Paper published in Physiol Meas

Model studies of large artery flow often employ flow waveforms measured from normal, young adults, such as Holdsworth et al.'s widely-used common carotid artery waveform. As the title of our new paper makes clear, in "Characterization of volumetric flow rate waveforms at the carotid bifurcations of older adults" we provide a more age-appropriate set of waveforms for model studies of older adults, as part of our work on the VALIDATE study of factors in vascular aging. In addition to lots of descriptive statistics (thanks to a sample size of nearly 100), we note some interesting trends with age and, thanks to the comments of one reviewer, sex (not gender, which apparently means something else altogether).

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Welcome to Alex Martinez

The BSL welcomes Alejandro (Alex) Martinez, from UofT's MIE undergraduate program, who will be starting Master's degree research this month. Alex's thesis project will focus on the further development (and, eventually, deployment) of an open-source MRI simulation environment that Luca Antiga and I have been working on (and off) for a few years.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A personal history of diversity

Just came across the BMES Inaugural Diversity Lecture by Sheldon Weinbaum, in which he gives a broad and personal history of efforts to promote diversity. I've always been impressed by the originality of his scientific ideas, and the passion with which he pursues, presents and defends them. So it should have come as no surprise -- but did anyway -- that he has been on the front lines of the culture wars for nearly half a century(!).