Published: 29-11-2016 12:11 | Updated: 29-11-2016 12:14

New thesis on cardiovascular physiology

Elira Maksuti, from the group Clinical Physiology, will defend her thesis “Imaging and modeling the cardiovascular system” on December 9, 2016. She is admitted to the joint program Medical Technology and will defend her thesis both at Karolinska Institutet and at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) .

What’s the main focus of your thesis?

My thesis focuses on improving our understanding of cardiovascular physiology by using medical imaging and modeling of hemodynamics. In particular, I have investigated the forces acting during cardiac pumping and the main mechanisms involved in blood pressure changes during aging. Additionally, I have contributed to the development of an ultrasound-based technique for measuring arterial stiffness that could be used for early diagnosis of cardiovascular disease.

Which are the most important results?

Among the main findings, I can mention that cardiac pumping can to a large extent be explained by internal longitudinal movements and that hydraulic forces contribute to diastolic filling. Another important result is that both the heart and the arterial system contribute to the blood pressure changes during aging. Finally, the developed ultrasound technique was compared with a reference method and showed to accurately measure stiffness in arterial phantoms.

How can this new knowledge contribute to the improvement of people’s health?

This knowledge can help clinicians and the medical devices industry to better understand the mechanisms involved in cardiovascular physiology. This can in turn improve cardiac diagnostic procedures, devices design and their interaction with the cardiovascular system.

What are your future ambitions?

I would like to work with the development of medical devices and I’m considering possibilities both in academia and industry. My main goals are to use my engineering skills to meet clinical needs, reduce complexity within the healthcare system and improve collaboration between clinicians and engineers. Not an easy task!


December 9, 2016 at 10:00, venue: Lecture Hall T2, Hälsovägen 11c, Flemingsberg, more information in the calendar.


Imaging and modeling the cardiovascular system

Karolinska Institutet (KI) and the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) are engaged in a joint PhD programme in medical technology through which doctoral students are admitted onto a combined programme at both universities leading to a joint degree.