Biomechanics of the heart in children with single ventricle heart disease

Project description

Each year, approximately 30 children are born in Australia with a form of congenital heart disease that means only one out of the two heart pumps (ventricles) is functionally viable. Currently, the best chance of survival comes with a series of three complex operations that result in a Fontan circulation, where a single ventricle pumps blood to the body and the major veins are connected directly to the pulmonary arteries to supply lung blood flow. Although medium-term survival is improving, these patients have reduced exercise capacity and a significant risk of heart failure. In this project, students will analyse magnetic resonance imaging data acquired at the Royal Children’s Hospital before and after exercise in children with a Fontan circulation.

Students will construct three-dimensional models of the heart and its chambers. Heart deformation will be assessed to quantify cardiac strain and stress patterns, to assess the risk of current interventions introducing unintended long-term complications in ventricular function. 

Project team

Leader: Vijayaraghavan Rajagopal

Collaborators: Jonathan Mynard (MCRI)

Other projects

Convergence of engineering and IT with the life sciences projects

Research Centre

Systems Biology Laboratory


Biomedical Engineering,Mechanical Engineering


Convergence of engineering and IT with the life sciences


biomechanics; fluid structure interactions; heart; numerical modelling; systems biology