Alessandro Bellofiore

Students in biomedical research lab

Mary Colleen Grace Meshach Ponraj, ’20 MS Biomedical Engineering, operates the particle image velocimetry instrument while Hania Osman, ’21 MS Biomedical Engineering, adjusts the camera for examination of the hemodynamic performance of a mechanical heart valve in vitro.

Instrumentation for an array of research applications

In one of SJSU’s most significant instrumentation acquisitions to date, Alessandro Bellofiore led the College of Engineering’s procurement of a High-Speed Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) instrument, a laser-based tool for characterizing flow fields. Having this instrument on campus will advance faculty and student research relating to fluid mechanics in biomedical devices, microscopic blood cell interactions, ink technology droplet mobility, aerodynamic and combustion evaluations, and more.

Alessandro Bellofiore“Particle image velocimetry is a powerful and reliable tool for characterizing flow in a wide array of applications,” explains Bellofiore (at right). “It is the de facto standard for the experimental investigation of liquid, gaseous, and multiphase flows, whether one is investigating fuel injection processes in aircraft engines or blood flow through implantable cardiovascular devices.”

Using the PIV instrument, Bellofiore and his students are conducting research on the blood flow patterns associated with mechanical heart valves. Having created a mock circulation loop that mimics the vascular system, they apply a thin sheet of laser light to illuminate a slice of a flow that is seeded with highly-reflective particles, and use a high-speed camera to take images of the particles. Sophisticated software analyzes the images to quantify how much each cluster of particles moves, which in turn gives a measure of the fluid flow velocity.

Bellofiore’s passion for fluid dynamics was sparked when he was a student in Italy. “It was definitely the combustion course I took at University of Naples Federico II. It introduced me to the wonderful world of fluid dynamics, and motivated me to choose to focus on experimental fluid mechanics throughout my career.” 

“My experience at SJSU has been great. I love how the professors involve the students in research.”

Hania Osman
’21 MS Biomedical Engineering