Days – 7/1, 7/2
Hours Total – 15
Over the past two days, I’ve slowly become used to the daily routines in place at the FDA with Dr. Karanian. I was in surgery all day Thursday with Dr. Karanian while he completed a CT- Scan study on a porcine model using new parameters to help develop a better procedure for collecting data. He also experimented with a new Ultrasound protocol utilizing better scanning algorithms which helped to clarify tissue scans, especially that of a stented artery. Friday, I met some of the other interns as well ( a total of 6) and familiarized myself with some of their projects including developing a database to better organize data collected by the lab, understanding how to create a 3-dimensionsal model of a stent from a fluoroscopy scan, utilizing Mimics (Modeling software) to design more detailed reconstructions of stent and vessel scans, and the concentration variation of contrast around the injection site in the upper carotid using tissue analysis. Overall, it was a good two days, but I still am unable to understand some of the higher level concepts being used and hope in the coming weeks I’ll be able to further my knowledge.
Days – 7/7, 7/8, 7/9
Hours Total – 34:10
This week, I spent a lot of time watching and assisting the other interns, when possible, in their projects and various laboratory procedures. I especially liked working with some of the digital reconstruction software available on the lab computers, as the possibilities are endless when it comes on how you can manipulate the various scans. For one in particular, I was able to create a complete 3-dimensional reconstruction, and then create a virtual fly though, in which I was able to pass through the inside of the stented vessel. I learned a lot about some of the tools available, although the magnitude of manipulation possible is far beyond my knowledge as of yet, I was able to practice some basic functions, something that could possibly become the basis for a project. I also had a chance to sit in on a lab meeting and experience the collegiate environment present. It is amazing how everyone is able to communicate and share data so effectively. Also, the possibilities for some of the projects are endless, especially the fluoroscopy manipulation study, which could help increase current abilities of laboratories who still poses older equipment by a great deal. Overall, so far, my internship keeps getting better and better; I still cannot grasp some of the knowledge involved, but I am slowly learning and have the basics required to participate in some of the discussions.
Days – 7/19, 7/20, 7/22, 7/23
Hours Total – 67:05
This week has been quite hectic; we have really been pushing to complete some of the other interns’ projects, especially a study involving contrast dissolution over a stented segment in terms of concentration. Data is slowly being collected as each tissue sample collected must be segmented and then sent to a lab for chemical concentration analysis. I have made some progress using the computer programs, especially when analyzing some of the more recent stent data scan data sets. Dr. Karanian asked me on Tuesday to begin work on a data collection “Project” and wanted me to collect all current/ and previous human and porcine data relating to stent design and application. I focused mainly on previous projects completed by him and other members of the lab and learned a great deal about some of earlier stent studies involving stent fracture and/or failure rates. I also compiled a literature study, detailing new ideas evolving in the field and continually developing terminology; this helped a great deal in bringing me up to speed on understanding some of the research papers. I’ll have to finish this work next week and prepare a final project proposal to present in order to finalize an area of study.
Days – 7/27, 7/28
Hours Total – 83:05
This week was fairly short, but I was able to get my project proposal and literature study finalized to present at the lab meeting on Wednesday. Although I do feel somewhat inadequate when surrounded by all the interns and research assistants given the learning curve, they continually assist me and have helped a great deal in furthering my knowledge base and project ideas. The meeting went fairly well, and Dr. Karanian was pleased with my proposal involving a study of motion deformation in the carotid area, where I could collect and analyze data of changes in vessel properties over the course of certain movements. In addition, this could be applied to further assist in the development of interventional devices which change and adapt with their vessel environment, such a s the new nitinol memory metal stents, which have a better success rating in supporting occluded pathways under continuous and obstructive motion (cardiothoracic region and upper carotid). Overall, now that I have a project somewhat finalized, I have someplace to narrow down. Hopefully I can produce some interesting results and propose a few ideas regarding the problem of deformation through motion.
Days – 8/2, 8/3, 8/4, 8/5
Hours Total – 126:20
This week seemed like it would never end, but I completed a lot of research involving my project and now contain a much better understanding of the subject area. I read several previous studies involving motion deformation and now understand the kinematic processes involved in vessel change including twist, length, ellipticity, and curvature. I was able to visualize and see these different aspects using the computer modeling software and realize the great extent to which vessels consistently change, including one study where the curvature of the carotid increased by over 164.4%. During this time, I was realized the need for accurately representative porcine models, as some of the data had later been found to be irrelevant in terms of human biology. Although differences remain minor, the degree of accuracy must continue to increase if porcine data is to be used in analyzing new stent designs for humans. I also have begun thinking about how individual aspects of the stent affect its surrounding environment, such as individual struts, strut joints, and overlapping areas. Overall, I have a great deal to go in terms of understanding some of the math and cellular biology involved in the analysis of stents, but I continue to gain knowledge and have learned a great deal through my project so far.
Days – 8/17, 8/18, 8/19, 8/24
Hours Total – 160:50
This was my last week at the lab, but I finalized a lot of information involving my project design, which continues to evolve, and have a immense understanding ( in comparison to last year) of stent design and the regulatory process by which they are tested and approved. I spoke with Dr. Karanian involving my ability to get to the lab during the school year and realize that much of the work I will complete will be done through research and analysis over the internet. My project involving kinematic analysis continued fairly smoothly throughout the week and I was able to interpret a large majority of the data set involving changes in vessel flow and performance, making several observations involving the severity of changes involved with the twisting of the neck on the carotid in particular. I did make several conclusions, but much more laboratory experience and knowledge will be needed before I can appropriately analyze and interpret data on an acceptable research level. Overall, my experience led me to develop a great deal of knowledge involving new stent applications and implantation techniques. Hopefully, I can continue my project on vessel and stent integration and continue communicating with Dr. Karanian involving my project and its direction.