RESHAPING BROKEN HEARTS
There’s now a fix for aortic valve disease that doesn’t involve replacing the whole
valve and leads to better health outcomes.
Dr. J. Scott Rankin in the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute has invented
a device that reshapes the valve. The HAART 300 Aortic Annuloplasty Device,
manufactured by BioStable Science Engineering Inc., is the first commercially
available internal annuloplasty device designed for aortic valve repair. Dr. Vinay Badhwar, executive chair of the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute ,said of Rankin: “He has created a new class of heart operation that could potentially save thousands of patients who currently are otherwise treated with artificial heart valves.” The device is available in Europe and select American heart centers, including WVU.
SURVIVING THE BIG ONE
What if you could preserve buildings and bridges from
the furor of earthquakes, hurricanes and tornadoes?
There’s a new composite system out of the Benjamin M.
Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
that can do that. Civil and environmental engineering
professor Hota GangaRao and civil engineering PhD
student Praveen Majjigapu have developed a system
that will increase the strength and endurance of
structures and can repair historic or aging structures.
The three-piece system consisting of wedge-like parts,
reinforcing dowels and composite materials allows
buildings and bridges to resist heavier loads and
provides a significant amount of shock absorption as
well as resistance to moisture and fire.
TEACHING COMPUTERS TO SEE
We’re expecting a new world of self-driving cars, but
scientists still need to teach the onboard computers a
thing or two. Computers still need to be able to identify
one object taken from different viewpoints by onboard
cameras as being the same object. It’s a fundamental
problem of computer vision. One computer scientist,
with funding from the National Science Foundation, is
measuring the level of confidence a computer has when
it determines that images represent the same object.
Computer science assistant professor Victor Fragoso
is investigating ways a computer can reason about
the objects it detects in order to propose solutions
to alert the computer of wrong identifications. If left
unchecked, this vision problem could leave the car
vulnerable to accidents.
A CLOSER LOOK AT CORN SYRUP
A recent graduate’s work is showing that high fructose
corn syrup-55, found in soft drinks, promotes a buildup
of fat in the liver, which increases non-alcoholic fatty
liver disease. Sundus Lateef, BS ’16, Chemistry and
Biology, an Honors College graduate, and her advisers
found that within eight weeks, mice who only drank high
fructose corn syrup-55 developed extensive fat deposits
in the liver before becoming obese, with fat being sent
to the liver instead of to fat tissues. Lateef was one of
60 undergraduates nationwide selected by the Council
on Undergraduate Research to present research to
Congress. She worked with professors Janet Tou and
Vagner Benedito of the Davis College of Agriculture,
Natural Resources and Design to produce “High Fructose
Corn Syrup-55 Promotes Triglyceride Accumulation and
Alters Fat Metabolism in the Liver,” a paper published in
the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.
ENERGY ON THE MOVE
Engineers are developing a way to create a fuel that can
be transported long distances and doesn’t add carbon
dioxide to the atmosphere. John Hu and Hanjing Tian
in the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and
Mineral Resources are developing a way to synthesize
ammonia from hydrogen and nitrogen using microwave
plasma catalysis for long-term energy storage and
long-distance delivery at a production rate that is five
times greater than the existing and costly Haber-Bosch
process. The project is funded by the U.S. Department of
Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy.
Innovation at Work Archive
Catch up with sneak peeks and snapshots of some of the creative research, ideas and products incubating 24/7 across WVU.
This year international headlines proclaimed the news that a WVU report led to the discovery that Volkswagen had installed defeat devices in potentially millions of diesel vehicles. Catch that developing story and more here.
Our people are working on one of the seven Wonders of the World, renewing the nation's dams and creating wireless networks.
From securing your selfies, to creating mobile PET scanners, WVU is making inventions that affect your life.
Our people are preparing for working on asteroids, predicting how many fish will be in your local stream and designing tomorrow's fuel cell.
A doctor created a new way to repair hearts that leads to better health outcomes and engineers came up with a composite system that could prevent damage from earthquakes and hurricanes.