Impact of Pulsatile CPB on Vital Organ Recovery (Clinical/Basic Science/Engineering)
  • This study is designed to investigate the effects of pulsatile flow versus conventional non-pulsatile flow on systemic inflammation, and cerebral, myocardial, renal, and pulmonary recovery at different temperatures in neonates and infants during CPB.
Ecuador Mission Program (Clinical)
  • Over the last ten years, the Penn State Children's Hospital has annually deployed a team of specialists (including pediatric heart surgeons, cardiologists, anesthesiologists, intensivists, perfusionists, nurses, and medical students) to perform life-saving heart surgery for children at the Hospital de los Niños in Guayaquil, Ecuador.   In addition to the providing a charitable clinical service, the team also continues to provide direct education to the local surgeons and clinicians, with the goal of fostering an independent, self-sustaining pediatric heart surgery program at the children's hospital. 

Neonatal Extracorporeal Life Support Systems with Pulsatile and Non-Pulsatile flow:  Research and Education at Penn State Children's Hospital (Clinical/Engineering)

  • The main objective of this proposal is to educate and train clinicians, including perfusionists, neonatology, pediatrics, and surgery fellows, and pediatric faculty with next generation oxgenators and blood pumps.

Comparison of retrograde flow between three centrifugal blood pumps in a pediatric ECLS model(Clinical/Engineering)

  • During extracorporeal life support (ECLS), retrograde flow may occur once the pump revolutions decrease below a critical value determined by the patient's blood pressure and circuit resistance. It is crucial to select proper blood pump to avoid this adverse event. In this special ECLS model, retrograde flow of three different centrifugal blood pumps will be evaluated.

Comparison of perfusion quality in hollow-fiber membrane oxygenators for neonatal extracorporeal life support (Clinical/Engineering)

  • The objectives of this study were (1) to compare three brands of hollow-fiber membrane oxygenators in terms of pressure drop in a simulated pediatric ECLS circuit; and (2) to precisely quantify hemodynamic energy loss across each oxygenator under pulsatile and non-pulsatile perfusion modes.   Such measures are important for streamlining the components of the extracorporeal circuit to provide the highest standard of patient care.
Noninvasive Cardiac Imaging (Clinical)
  • The noninvasive cardiac imaging laboratory at Penn State Hershey Medical Center is dedicated to the development and clinical application of novel techniques to assess cardiac function. A main focus has been tissue Doppler imaging and strain rate imaging. We study the effect of cardiopulmonary bypass surgery on the recovery of left and right ventricular regional function. Tissue Doppler imaging is particularly useful to assess diastolic function quantitatively. Another project is imaging support of the development of a pediatric ventricular assist device. In the clinical arena, the laboratory is developing quantitative stress echocardiography for children using strain rate imaging. These techniques have been used in adults but have not been adapted for routine clinical use in children yet. Finally, we use three-dimensional echocardiography to better assess heart valve function.
Discovery Proteomics During Pediatric Cardiac Surgery (Clinical/Basic Science)
  • These studies use state-of-the art two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, liquid chromatography, and mass spectrometry along with multi-analyte profile immunoassays to identify altered serum proteins resulting from CPB perfusion modes. In addition, these studies may lead to the identification of specific preclinical markers that are associated with short- and long-term outcomes that can be used to further optimize strategies for CPB in high-risk pediatric populations.
International Conference on Pediatric Circulatory Support Systems & Pediatric Cardiopulmonary Perfusion (Clinical/Basic Science/Engineering)
  • The main objective of this conference is to focus on the current problems associated with pediatric cardiac patients during and after acute or chronic cardiac support. In this conference, we will bring together as many distinguished physicians and scientists as possible, in order to precisely define the current problems and to suggest solutions with novel approaches. This will be the only national/international conference to focus solely on pediatric cardiac patients.
  • International Conference website
Pediatric Mechanical Circulatory support (Engineering/Clinical/Basic Science)
  • Under the leadership of William Weiss, Ph.D., and as part of the prestigious five-year, five-institution NIH contract, Penn State has developed a pneumatic, pulsatile pediatric ventricular assist device, based on the design of the adult-sized Pierce-Donachy (Thoratec®) VAD. The Pediatric VAD exists in two sizes: an Infant VAD with a dynamic stroke volume of 12-14 ml, and a Child VAD with a 25-30 ml stroke volume. Under the NHLBI Contract Program "Pediatric Circulatory Support ", we have completed the design requirements, pump design, and cannula design. A custom valve has been designed and is currently being manufactured in house. The first phase of animal testing has been completed (15 studies). Manufacturing processes have been developed and 11 pumps are currently in process. Our research and development activities continue to focus on reducing the risk of thromboembolism, by drawing in relevant expertise in biomaterials, fluid dynamics, and hematology.   In addition to the necessary device development tasks, we also plan to continue research in VAD thrombosis and anticoagulation that will contribute to the best possible clinical results.
Microemboli Detection and Classification by Innovative Ultrasound Technology During Cardiopulmonary Bypass Procedures (Clinical/Engineering)
  • The objective of this study is to detect and classify the number and size of gaseous microemboli during normothermic, hypothermia and deep-hypothermic cardiopulmonary bypass.
Application of real time intra operative neurologic monitoring on management of pediatric cardiopulmonary bypass (Clinical)
  • The objective of this research is to incorporate advanced neurologic monitoring techniques using a multi specialty team approach to proactively identify and mitigate high risk periods during pediatric cardio pulmonary bypass.
Comparison of Eight Different Pediatric 10 FR Aortic Cannulae During Pulsatile vs. Non-Pulsatile Perfusion in a Simulated Neonatal Model of CPB (Engineering/Clinical)
  • The purpose of this investigation is to compare the surplus hemodynamic energy levels generated by eight pediatric aortic cannulae with different geometries during pulsatile and non-pulsatile perfusion modes in an in vitro neonatal model of CPB.
Effects of CPB on Blood Viscoelasticity During and After Open-heart Surgery in Neonates and Infants (Clinical/Basic Science)
  • The objective of this study is to determine the changes in blood viscoelasticity during and after cardiopulmonary bypass procedures in pediatric cardiac patients.
Medos Pulsatile and Non-pulsatile ECMO System (Engineering/Clinical)
  • The purpose of this investigation is to evaluate the performance of a new CPB/ECMO circuit and hollow-fiber membrane oxygenator during pulsatile perfusion and chronic use. 
Personnel participating in these current research projects:

Penn State College of Medicine & Penn State Children's Hospital

Department of Pediatrics
Akif Ündar, Ph.D.
John L. Myers, M.D.
Linda Pauliks, M.D.
Brian Clark, M.D.
Neal Thomas, M.D., M.Sc.

Shigang Wang, MD

Post-Doctoral Fellows

Sunil Patel, MD, (Pediatric Cardiology, 2013-2014)

Conrad Krawiec, MD (PICU, 2013-2014)

Deborah R. Thurston, MD (NICU, 2009-2012)

Feng Qiu, M.D. (Pediatrics, 2009-2011)
Yulong Guan, M.D. (Pediatrics 2008-2009)
Shigang Wang, M.D. (Pediatrics, 2007-2008)
Bingyang Ji, M.D. (Pediatrics, 2005-2007)
Sung Yang, Ph.D. (Bioengineering, 2006-2007)
John M. Connell, M.D., M.P.H. (Surgery resident, 2005-2007)
Tigran Khalpayan, M.D. (Surgery Fellow, 2000-2008)

Research Nurses
Jennifer Stokes, R.N.
Heidi Watts, R.N.
Jessica Beiler, M.P.H
Amyee McMonagle, R.N.
Julie Vallati, R.N.


             Rachel Wolfe (Bioengineering Student, Summer 2014)

             Ashton Strother (Undergraduate student, Summer 2014)

             Alissa Evenson (Medical Student, Summer 2013)

             Brian Chin (Undergraduate Student, Summer 2013)

             Franky Gentile (Summer 2013)

             Sarah Hafiz (Summer 2013)

             Sonia Hafiz (Summer 2013)

             Neelima Marupudi (Medical Student, Spring 2012)

             Oliver F. Noel, MD/PhD candidate (Summer 2012)

             Ranjodh Dhami, MD/PhD candidate (Summer 2012)

             Ashton Strother (Summer 2012)

Judith Lin, B.S. (Medical student, 2011)
Natalie M. Dogal, B.S. (Medical student, 2011)
Ryan K. Mathis, B.S. (Medical student, 2011)
Jonathan Talor, B.S. (MD/PhD student, 2009- 2010)
Arash Salavitabar (Medical Student - 2010)
Rahul Vasavada, MS. (Medical Student - 2010)
Sameer Khan, B.S. (Medical student - 2010)
Xiaowei (Bill) Su, B.S. (MD/PhD student, 2009-2010)
Stella Yee, B.S. (Medical student - Summer 2009)
Larry Sasso (Ph.D. Candidate in Bioengineering, Rutgers University, 2008-Present)
Kiana Aran (Ph.D. Student, Rutgers University, 2008-Present)
Sung Yang (Ph.D. Student in Bioengineering, 2004-2006)
Akemi Miller (Medical Student – 3rd year (Pediatrics, 2008-2009)
Alan Rider (Engineering, University Park) (Pediatrics, 2006-2009)
Khin Win (Medical Student – 3rd year) (Pediatrics, 2008-2009)
Nikkole Haines (Medical Student – 1st year) (Pediatrics, 2008-2009)
Chiajung Karen Lu (Medical Student – 1st year) (Pediatrics, 2008-2009)
Ashley Rogerson (Medical Student - 2nd year, 2008-2009)
Melinda Lull, M.S. (Ph.D. Student in Pharmacology) (2006-2007)
John W. Myers (University Park)

Department of Surgery
Akif Ündar, Ph.D.
John L. Myers, M.D.
Brian Clark, M.D.

Department of Bioengineering
Akif Ündar, Ph.D.

Larry Baer, C.C.P.
David Palanzo, C.C.P.
Robert McCoach, C.C.P.
Robert Wise, C.C.P.
Karl Woitas, C.C.P.

Department of Comparative Medicine
Ronald Wilson, V.M.D, M.S.
Timothy Cooper, D.V.M.

Department of Public Health  Sciences
Vernon Chinchilli, Ph.D.
Allen Kunselman, M.A.

Department of Pharmacology
Kent Vrana, Ph.D.
Willard Freeman, Ph.D.

Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Jianxun Song, Ph.D.

Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
Serdar Ural, M.D.

Summer Undergraduate Research Internship Program (SURIP)
Robert S. Schreiner (Allegheny College, PA) (Summer 2007)
Tushar Karkhanis (University of Pittsburgh) (Summer 2008)

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (Piscataway, NJ)
Jeffrey Zahn, Ph.D. (Dept. of Bioengineering)
Larry Sasso, Ph.D.
Kiana Aran, Ph.D.

Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA)
Kerem Pekkan, Ph.D. (Dept. of Biomedical Engineering)

Medipol University School of Medicine  (Istanbul, Turkey)
Tijen Alkan, M.D. (Dept. of Cardiovascular Surgery)
Atif Akcevin, M.D. (Dept. of Cardiovascular Surgery)
Halil Turkoglu, M.D. (Dept. of Cardiovascular Surgery)

Korea University (Seoul, South Korea)
Kyung Sun, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A. (Dept. of Surgery)

Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (Gwangju, South Korea)
Sung Yang, Ph.D. (Dept. of Bioengineering)          

Marmara University (Istanbul, Turkey)
Mehmet Agirbasli, M.D. 

Shanghai's Children's Medical Center (Shanghai, China)
Wei Wang, M.D., Ph.D.
Deming Zhu, M.D.
Jinfen Liu, M.D.

University of Verona (Verona, Italy)
Giovanni Battista Luciani, M.D.

Istanbul Mehmet Akif Ersoy Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery Training and Research Hospital (Istanbul, Turkey)
Ihsan Bakir, M.D. ((Dept. of Cardiovascular Surgery)
Sertac Haydin, M.D. ((Dept. of Cardiovascular Surgery)
Ender Odemis, M.D. ((Dept. of Cardiology)

The Fuwai Hospital, (Beijing, China)
Yulong Guan, M.D. (Dept. of Cardiopulmonary Bypass)