Research Areas

Reducing Spinal Cord Injury After Endovascular and Open Aortic Operations

Spinal cord injury (SCI) is the most feared complication of patients undergoing major aortic surgery, and reducing spinal cord injury after endovascular and open aortic operations is one focus of our research. In the literature, the incidence is reported to be up to 14%, and once an ischemic SCI has occurred, whether early or delayed, the possibility of a recovery remains low. Therefore effective strategies to prevent spinal cord damage are of utmost importance. In a standardized model, the effects of neuroprotective agents will be evaluated under neurophysiologic and hemodynamic monitoring.


Aortic and Aortic Valve Research

Furthermore, the Khoynezhad Laboratory is evaluating pathophysiological pathways of aortic aneurysm and dissection, and is developing novel standardized in vitro and in vivo models that can be translated into clinical practice in aortic disease. In vitro models are sensor equipped, and will display common diseases, such as aneurysms and dissections of the aorta. They will serve as study objects to explore the catheter-tissue interaction and for training purposes.


Modeling of Thoracic Aortic Pathologies

A: Basic silicone tube model. B: X-Ray of the model during catheter implantation.
C: Positive counterpart from the LVOT and the aorta (Bombien & Khoynezhad, 2012).


Create an aortic dissection. A: Human aortic tissue, formalin fixed. Separation of
intima and media in the model. B: Intimal flap production using endovascular
procedure with a micro scalpel (Bombien & Heinisch, 2012).

Development of Endovascular Devices and Intracardiac Micro Surgery

Last but not least, novel technologies to treat ascending aortic and aortic root disease are investigated, with the aim of improving indications for endovascular therapeutics. The development of in vitro as well as in vivo testing of new endovascular or intracardiac treatment options for aortic and aortic valve disease will be performed combining medical knowledge with advanced bioengineering. 


Scheme of intracardiac heart valve isolation. A: Retrograde Approach
(a: resection sequence, b: aortic annulus after resection, c: removed aortic leaflets).
B: Transventricular Approach.


A: Catheter prototype for aortic valve isolation
B: X-Ray of an isolated aortic valve in the model
C: Resection of the aortic valve with a laser scalpel
D: Removed aortic valve in the model