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Biomedical Device Laboratory. Dr. Duncan Maitland Associate Professor – Department of Biomedical Engineering Texas A&M University Mary Biediger John Marshall High School Northside Independent School District – San Antonio, Texas. Facts about Stroke. 750,000 cases per year

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Biomedical Device Laboratory

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Biomedical Device Laboratory

Dr. Duncan Maitland

Associate Professor – Department of Biomedical Engineering

Texas A&M University

Mary Biediger

John Marshall High School

Northside Independent School District – San Antonio, Texas

Facts about Stroke

  • 750,000 cases per year

  • 150,000 deaths per year

    (3rd leading cause of death)

  • 30,000 hemorrhagic strokes (treatable)

  • Leading cause of disability

  • $40 billion spent on treatment and rehabilitation annually

Historical Treatment (since 1937)

  • Surgical Clipping – via craniotomy

Still used


If it’s working, why change it?

  • Surgery on any one area may cause problems with speech, memory, muscle weakness, balance, vision, coordination, and other functions.

  • Blood clot or bleeding in the brain

  • Seizures

  • Stroke

  • Coma

  • Infection in the brain, in the wound, or in the skull

  • Brain swelling



  • Hospitalization – 5 to 7 days

  • Recovery time before returning to work – 6 to 12 weeks


Alternative Treatment (since 1991)

Detachable coil embolization

-Can reach previously inoperable aneurysms


  • Catheter-related risks: Intra-arterial catheterization involves a risk of bleeding, infection and arterial damage.

  • Surgical risks: As with any invasive procedure, there is a slight risk of death or illness.

  • Approximately 7% of cases require additional treatment or surgery.


Additional Complications

  • Surgery time (varies with number of coils being implanted)

    • Doctors not happy

    • Patients not happy

      • Customers not happy – product less likely to sell

  • Clots forming in the blood stream

    • Problems downstream


  • Hospitalization – 2 days

  • Recovery time before returning to work – about a week


Cutting Edge Treatment

  • SMP Foam – made to fill aneurysm

Cutting Edge Treatment

  • Crimped to a cylindrical shape to be fed through a micro-catheter and actuated at the site.

Why do it?

  • Catheter and Anesthesia

  • Foam is more biocompatible

  • Healing time significantly reduced

    *This is one aspect of the work going on in the lab. It is nearly ready for animal trials, not yet used in humans.

Another treatment (currently in use) - Metal Stent

Reinforce the weak

artery wall

Encourage normal

blood flow

Reopen partially

blocked passages

Angioplasty vs. Stent


Stent use for aneurysm treatment

  • In combination with coiling

    • For “wide-neck” aneurysm.


In the lab

  • SMP plastic tube

Why do this?

  • Can you tell me

What I will do

  • Use an MRI from a current patient

What I will do

  • Make a model using 3D printer

What I will do

  • Make a negative model

What I will do

  • Create a SMP plastic stent to treat the aneurysm and test it in the model.


  • Focus of the lab:

    • Design devices to treat aneurysms, fistulas, and stroke

    • Improve treatment options from what is currently used in practice

    • Use Shape Memory Polymers to create devices that will be more readily accepted by the human organism


  • TAMU E3 program

  • NSF, NPI, and TWC

  • Dr. Duncan Maitland, PhD.


  • John Horn – Graduate student who is graciously donating his time to teaching me about the work in the lab.

  • All of the graduate students in the biomedical lab who gleefully answer my queries about their various projects.


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