Computational Physiology and Bioinformatics to Serve Personalized Digital Medicine: The Novel Perspective of Mechanical Biocompatibility

Thursday, February 20, 2020

11:00am – 12:00pm

310 Kelly Hall, Virginia Tech Campus

Farhad Rikhtegar Nezami

Research Scientist and Project Leader

Harvard-MIT Biomedical Engineering Center


Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of morbidity and mortality around the world and is accelerating as populations age and life-style associated risk factors emerge. Percutaneous intervention revolutionized approaches to atherosclerotic and obstructive disease. So much so that they were considered a commodity of receding innovation until recent serial events called into question what were deemed as workhorse and next generation technologies. In particular the clinical failure of bioresorbable coronary scaffolds and persistent mortality and safety concern for local balloon delivery into peripheral vessels not only have forced greater clinical scrutiny of great innovations but also forced us to ask why these events were not foreseen. The argument has been made that we have departed from the mechanistic and scientific-based perspective that drove the golden era of creativity in cardiovascular devices. Innovation in this space has long benefited from the integration of computational, benchtop and animal modeling, and recently from the introduction of machine and deep learning techniques. It is crucial to appreciate how computational modeling and bioinformatics approaches bring together the preclinical and clinical experiences and how the disappointment of recent technologies forces renewed concentration on subject-specific models and physics-governed computational modeling. These engineering toolkits offer real-time clinical platforms that can bring together advanced imaging modalities and clinical experience in humans and animals, and are increasingly adopted by regulatory officials as in silico clinical trials.  

In this talk, I will highlight how we incorporate powerful computational tools, and capitalize on the synergy between mechanical engineering, translational medicine, and informatics. This approach has provided new perspective into the contextual biocompatibility of medical implants relative to mechanical environment to which they are exposed and offers new views of technology innovation.  


Farhad Rikhtegar Nezami is a Research Scientist and Project Leader at Harvard-MIT Biomedical Engineering Center in the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science at MIT. He received his PhD in Mechanical engineering from ETH Zurich, where he conducted research on hemodynamics and drug transport in stented coronary arteries. Dr Rikhtegar Nezami’s research interests revolve around human pathophysiology, successful translation of preclinical experiments to clinical practices, design and optimization of medical devices, and developing engineering platforms to drive progress from the laboratory bench and computational toolkit to the patient's bedside. His work embraces precision medicine and personalized therapy and developing predictive/prognostic tools incorporating clinical data, computational tools, and machine-learning algorithms.