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UH engineers to improve test for cardiovascular disease
Date:5/5/2010

HOUSTON, May 5, 2010 Two University of Houston professors are working to help keep your heart beating stronger and longer simply by monitoring the temperature of your fingertip.

VENDYS, a device mechanical engineering professors Stanley Kleis and Ralph Metcalfe helped develop, is allowing doctors to monitor how changes in blood flow affect finger temperature to measure an individual's risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD).

In a paper recently published in the Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, Kleis, Metcalfe and UH graduate student Mohammad Akhtar detail how a mathematical model is assisting them to better understand the real-life physics behind VENDYS. Their hope is that the model will aid them in further perfecting the non-invasive device, which is manufactured by Endothelix Inc. and already in use across the country as an early test for CVD. For the last seven years, Metcalfe has worked alongside Endothelix's founder, Dr. Morteza Naghavi, to bring the device from idea to application.

"This is the first paper on this topic, really, in biomedical engineering literature," said Metcalfe. "VENDYS is helping move us from a risk assessment to an actual non-invasive measurement focused on a specific individual. This model will be essential in helping us make VENDYS a more accurate, cost-effective early detection method."

Guided by the mathematical model, these researchers are examining how factors such as room temperature or a recent meal influence test results. By understanding their impact, they hope to be able to determine the conditions necessary to get the most accurate final results.

VENDYS has been in use since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved it for commercial sale in 2007. Less invasive and more cost effective than many traditional methods for CVD screening, including blood tests, CAT scans and MRIs, the device consists of a
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Contact: Lisa Merkl
lkmerkl@uh.edu
713-743-8192
University of Houston
Source:Eurekalert

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