Tang and his team of students and international collaborators have become recognized as the leading research group studying how the combination of plaque components and fluid and structural forces can cause plaque rupture. They have indicated that the risk of rupture is dependent on the combination of two primary factorsthe composition of the plaque and the forces acting on it. For example, plaques with thick caps are less likely to rupture than plaques with thin or worn caps, and higher plaque wall stress and higher flow sheer stress seem to correlate both with advanced plaque progression and greater risk of rupture. These findings, which were contrary to what was previously believed about plaque progression, have become the foundation of an assessment technique that Tang hopes to one day make available commercially.
The award of fellowship from the American Heart Association recognizes other research by Tang, including studies of the human right ventricle that he has conducted in collaboration with researchers at Harvard. As in his work on arterial plaque, Tang combines patient-specific medical images and computational modeling to construct computer models of the right ventricle that could be used by physicians to explore the efficiency and suitability of various surgical procedures for ventricle repair.
Tang's research has been supported by major awards from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), beginning with an NIH RO1 award in 2004--the first such grant received by a WPI researcher. His accomplishments earned him the university's Kalenian Award, which honors innovation and entrepreneurship, in 2008, and the WPI Board of Trustees Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Scholarship in 2010.
|Contact: Michael Dorsey|
Worcester Polytechnic Institute