BSc and MSc in Mechanical Engineering (RWTH Aachen University)
Bianca graduated from the RWTH Aachen University (Aachen, Germany) in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science specialising in Design Engineering. She then went on to complete a Master of Science specialising in Medical Engineering at the same university.
As part of her Masters work, she visited the Auckland Bioengineering Institute to write her thesis on fibre re-orientation in heart failure. Using diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging, she developed a novel method for field-based parameterisation of cardiac muscle structure.
Starting in February 2015, Bianca is working towards a PhD in Bioengineering at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute.
Research | Current
Model-based analysis of fibrosis imaging for cardiac mechanics
Heart failure (HF) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality with increasing prevalence due to diabetes and obesity. HF is often characterised by compromised contractile performance (known as systolic HF) or increased myocardial stiffness (diastolic HF). There is vigorous scientific debate as to whether these different types of HF are distinct diseases or simply opposite ends of a phenotypic spectrum.
HF remains unexplained because the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying HF are poorly understood. Through histological studies, interstitial fibrosis has been identified as a common contributor to left ventricular structural remodelling and subsequent failure. Yet, the fundamental biomechanical effects of myocardial tissue remodelling during HF are unknown. The overall theme of this research is to use computational model-based analysis to relate data from non-invasive medical imaging to the mechanics of the heart, and to use this approach to understand the mechanisms of heart function with a particular emphasis on the role of myocardial fibrosis during the progression of structural heart disease.
Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)
- Freytag, B., Wang, V. Y., Christie, G. R., Wilson, A. J., Sands, G. B., Legrice, I. J., ... Nash, M. P. (2016). Parameterisation of multi-directional diffusion weighted magnetic resonance images of the heart. Statistical Atlases and Computational Models of the Heart. Imaging and Modelling Challenges. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 9534, 60-68. Munich: Springer Verlag. 10.1007/978-3-319-28712-6_7
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Richard Christie, Alistair Young, Vicky Wang, Gregory Sands, Martyn Nash, Ian LeGrice
- Freytag, B., Wang, V. Y., Christie, G. R., Wilson, A. J., Sands, G. B., Young, A. A., ... Nash, M. P. (2015). Field-based parameterisation of cardiac muscle structure from diffusion tensors. In H. van Assen, P. Bovendeerd, T. Delhaas (Eds.) FIMH: International Conference on Functional Imaging and Modeling of the Heart, 9126, 146-154. Maastricht, The Netherlands: Springer Verlag. 10.1007/978-3-319-20309-6_17
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Vicky Wang, Richard Christie, Gregory Sands, Alistair Young, Ian LeGrice, Martyn Nash