Alessandro Bellofiore, PhD.

Photo

Assistant Professor

Email

Preferred: alessandro.bellofiore@sjsu.edu

Telephone

Preferred: (408) 924-4096

Office Hours

T-Th 4:30PM-5:30PM

Education

  • M.S. (Chemical Engineering, Universitá Federico II di Napoli, Italy)
  • Ph.D. (Chemical Engineering, Universitá Federico II di Napoli, Italy)

Bio

Academic Appointments

  • Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering, San Jose State University (2014-current)
  • Research Associate, Biomedical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison (2011-2014)
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering, National University of Ireland, Galway (2008-2011)
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, Chemical Engineering, Universitá Federico II di Napoli, Italy (2007-2008)

Honors and Awards

  • Instructor Award, University of Wisconsin-Madison Students (2013)
  • Combustion Institute Travel award, International Section of the Combustion Institute, 2006
  • Paul Eisenklam Travel Award, European Section of the Institute for Liquid Atomization and Spray Systems, 2006

Teaching Interests

  • Fluid mechanics and Hemodynamics
  • Biomechanics and Cardiovascular mechanics
  • Conservation Principles
  • Medical imaging
  • Biomaterials

Research and Scholarly Interests

  • Fluid mechanics of biomedical devices
  • Hemodynamics and cardiovascular mechanics
  • Wearable devices for cardiovascular applications
  • Particle Image Velocimetry
  • Clinical imaging and data analysis

Current Research

  • Flow-induced blood damage by mechanical heart valves

Abnormal blood flow patterns associated with mechanical heart valves (MHVs) play an important role in triggering blood cell damage. Patients with MHVs have an increased risk of blood clotting and need lifetime anticoagulant therapy. I hypothesize that the non-physiological performance of MHVs is responsible for prolonged exposure of blood cells to elevated shear stresses, which may induce cell damage. At National University of Ireland, Galway, I combined a scaled-up experimental model of MHV flow with a Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) to obtain flow measurements at unprecedented resolution. As a result, I was able to use Lagrangian tracking methods to calculate trajectories, mechanical loading and damage indices of platelets traveling through the MHV. With my research, I demonstrated that abnormal shear stresses in the flow downstream of MHVs can reduce the lifespan of blood cells and trigger platelet activation and clotting. At SJSU, I have worked with graduate students to develop a physiological-scale mock circulation loop to test the hemodynamic performance of trileaflet MHVs, a novel design approach that may mimic more closely the dynamics of natural valves. I am currently seeking funding from NSF to acquire a time-resolved PIV system to further investigate the performance of trileaflet valves.

  • Right ventricular-pulmonary vascular interactions in pulmonary hypertension

My research aims at understanding the mechanisms of progression of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) using data obtained from large animal studies and clinical trials. PAH originates in the distal pulmonary vasculature and ultimately leads to right ventricular failure. Despite modern therapies, PAH remains a progressive and fatal disease. My overall hypothesis is that stiffening of the pulmonary arteries, caused by PAH, impairs right ventricular function by decreasing the efficiency of ventricular-vascular interactions. Through extensive collaboration with UW-Madison, Northwestern University, and the Golden Jubilee National Hospital (Glasgow, UK) I have demonstrated the effect of exercise on ventricular-vascular function and contributed to shed light on the prognostic value of medical image analysis in PAH.

  • Wearable devices for monitoring heart function

Recently, I have developed an active interest in wearable biosensor technology, and its tremendous potential to improve cardiovascular disease management. Wearable biosensors have experienced a tumultuous growth over the past few years, mostly driven by the consumer market. The technological advancement in biosensor technology and wireless communication has been impressive. Potential applications of continuous wireless tracking of heart function include (1) monitoring of mental stress and learning efforts in college students, (2) continuous and accurate monitoring of cardiovascular parameters in patients with heart-related conditions, (3) continuous tracking of energy expenditure in hospitalized patients to assess the effectiveness of rehabilitation strategies. My interest has resulted in a number of ongoing explorative projects, developed with undergraduate and graduate students in the Biomedical Engineering program at SJSU and financially supported by the College of Engineering via the two Centers of Excellence recently launched, as well as an ongoing collaboration with a local startup company focused on wearable technology.

Selected Publications

  1. Bellofiore A., Dinges E., Naeije R. et al. (2016) Reduced hemodynamic coupling and exercise are associated with vascular stiffening in pulmonary arterial hypertension, Heart, doi: 10.1136/ heartjnl-2016-309906.
  2. Brewis M.J., Bellofiore A., Vanderpool R.R. et al. (2016) Imaging right ventricular function to predict outcome in pulmonary arterial hypertension, Int J Cardiol, 218, pp. 206–211.
  3. Klusak E., Bellofiore A., Loughnane S., Quinlan N.J. (2015) High-Resolution Measurements of Velocity and Shear Stress in Leakage Jets From Bileaflet Mechanical Heart Valve Hinge Models, J Biomech Eng, 137(11), 111008.
  4. Bellofiore A., et al. (2015) A Novel In Vivo Approach to Assess Radial and Axial Distensibility of Large and Intermediate Pulmonary Artery Branches. J Biomech Eng, 137(4), 044501.
  5. Bellofiore A., Chesler N.C. (2013) Methods for measuring right ventricular function and hemodynamic coupling with the pulmonary vasculature, Ann Biomed Eng, 41(7), pp. 1384-98.
  6. Bellofiore A., et al. (2013) Impact of Acute Pulmonary Embolization on Arterial Stiffening and Right Ventricular Function in Dogs, Ann Biomed Eng, 41(1), pp. 195-204.
  7. Bellofiore A., Quinlan N.J. (2011) High-Resolution Measurement of the Unsteady Velocity Field to Evaluate Blood Damage Induced by a Mechanical Heart Valve, Ann Biomed Eng, 39(9), pp. 2417-2429.
  8. Bellofiore A., et al. (2011) Scale-up of an Unsteady Flow-field for Enhanced Spatial and Temporal Resolution of PIV Measurements: Application to Leaflet Wake Flow in a Mechanical Heart Valve, Exp. Fluids, 51(1), pp.161-176.

Recent Funding

  1. Proposal to Test Device Performance for Wavelet Health (Co-PI), Industry Collaboration Contract. 

Professional Service

  1. Reviewer: Annals of Biomedical Engineering, Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, Journal of the Royal Society Interface, Atomization and Sprays
  2. Organizing Committee Member:
    •  Bioengineering in Ireland (BINI) Conference 2011
    •  Paseo Public Prototyping Challenge 2017
  3. Faculty advisor
    • SJSU’s student chapter of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES)
    • 8th Annual Bay Are Biomedical Device Conference, 2017
    • 2017 Paseo Public Prototyping Challenge and Festival

Students

B.S. students

  • Alok Bhatt
  • Sylvia Shacker
  • Jennifer Vu
  • Travis Carmichael
  • Wayne Lehr
  • Sergio Perez-Smith
  • Efren Velasquez
  • Chelsi Vining
  • Quynh Ho
  • Vannessa Oyco
  • Jesan Suasin
  • Sepideh Yazdi
  • Jenny Man
  • Hasti Jafarnejad 

M.S. students

  • Reema Elziq
  • Omid Hajati
  • Jessica Lau
  • James Ching
  • Andrew Cheng
  • Lac (John) La
  • Yung (Shirley) Cheng
  • Mahshid Aimaq
  • Tugba Ozedirne
  • Sambhavna Sharma
  • Shravya Nadig
  • Ryan Kirtland
  • Allison West
  • Alok Subbarao
  • Ragwa Elsayed
  • Jason Loevy