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Yih-Choung Yu, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Lafayette, has received a $12,000 grant from the Lindback Foundation for research that could improve testing procedures for heart assist devices and enhance cardiovascular physiology instruction.

Yu began working this semester with EXCEL Scholar Matthew Loh ’04, an electrical and computer engineering major from Tokyo, Japan, to model the project through a computer simulation. Loh has assisted Yu with implementing his findings in the computer program and conducted all simulation work. The pair will continue collaborating this summer and fall through Lafayette’s EXCEL Scholars program, in which students assist faculty with research while earning a stipend.

“Once we achieve reasonable performance in the computer simulation, we’ll implement this in microprocessor control,” says Yu. The goal is to develop a mock circulatory system to simulate the baroreceptor mechanism, a neurological function of arterial pressure and heart rate regulation. A fluid circulation loop and other hardware will be set up in the summer in preparation for building the system in the fall.

Ventricular assist devices have been used as bridge-to-transplant or bridge-to-recovery devices for heart failure patients. These devices usually rely on animal testing to understand the interaction between the cardiovascular system and the devices. Yu’s project could result in a test platform that would minimize the use of animals for heart assist device testing.

Yu has authored more than a dozen articles published in journals and conference proceedings within his field. He has given presentations at the 39th Control and Decision Conference in Sydney, Australia; the 14th annual International Federation of Automatic Control World Conference in Beijing, China; and the 28th Annual North East Bioengineering Conference in Philadelphia. He also was a session co-chair at the 13th IFAC World Congress in San Francisco, Calif, where he won the Travelship Award.

Yu holds a U.S. patent for a non-invasive flow indicator for a rotary blood pump and an international patent for a method and system for closed chest blood support. He is a reviewer for the American Society of Artificial Internal Organs Journal. He is listed in the 2002 Who’s Who of Americans and the 1999 International Who’s Who of Professionals, and belongs to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Biomedical Engineering Society.

Yu earned a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh, a master’s from Binghamton University, and a bachelor’s from Chinese Culture University in Taipei, Taiwan. Before joining the Lafayette faculty last fall, he was a visiting research associate, graduate student researcher, and teaching assistant in the Artificial Heart Program at University of Pittsburgh. He previously was an instructor at Fu-Hsing Technical High School in Taipei, Taiwan. In addition, Yu has worked as a research manager and project engineer at Cardiac Assist Technologies, Inc. in Pittsburgh.

Categorized in: Academic News