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Conrad Zapanta, assistant professor of surgery and bioengineering at Penn State College of Medicine, will give a biomedical engineering talk titled “The Artificial Heart” noon today in Oechsle Hall auditorium (room 224).

The student chapters of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and American Society of Mechanical Engineering are sponsoring the event, which will include free pizza.

Zapanta is interested in developing medical devices to treat cardiovascular disease, focusing on the areas of cardiac assist devices and prosthetic heart valves. His cardiac assist device research is done in collaboration with faculty members in the departments of surgery (division of artificial organs) and bioengineering and with researchers from the Applied Research Laboratory.

His first area of cardiac assist device research is the development of devices for smaller adults. Current devices are too big to fit in smaller men and in most women. A second area of research is focused on the elimination of a type of complication typically associated with cardiac assist devices. Zapanta seeks to do this by examining the effects of micro-texturing on blood contacting materials. The final research area is focused on developing a novel circulatory assist device for infants and children with congenital and acquired cardiovascular disease.

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