Dr Boram Gu

Research Associate
Department of Chemical Engineering

Imperial College London

Dr Boram Gu received her BSc and MSc degrees in Chemical and Biological Engineering from Korea University and her PhD in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College London in early 2017. She was awarded a fully funded PhD scholarship from an industrial funded research centre, BP International Centre for Advanced Materials (ICAM), where she learned to interact with industrial partners and multidisciplinary researchers. During her PhD, she developed a predictive model and optimisation framework for reverse osmosis membrane desalination processes by means of numerical modelling of transport phenomena and computational fluid dynamics. She is currently researching blood flow and drug transport in the treatment of vascular diseases as a postdoctoral researcher at Imperial College London, broadening her expertise by applying her theoretical and computational knowledge to the areas of biomedical engineering. She also pursues interests in fusing a molecular-level understanding of biofluids and drugs into the macroscale physical and biochemical behaviours.

Computational Modelling of Blood Clot Dissolution: Assessment of the Efficacy of Thrombolytic Therapy for Ischaemic Stroke

Ischaemic stroke occurs when blood clots block a blood vessel in the brain, which is one of the top causes of global death. The blocked or constricted arteries can be restored via different medical procedures, one of which is a thrombolytic therapy where a tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is intravenously injected to a patient in order to dissolve the clots. Although this thrombolytic therapy is less invasive than surgical treatments, severe bleeding complications may occur, making it applicable only to certain subsets of the patients. It is therefore crucial to understand how the treatment outcome and risk of side effects vary depending on different therapeutic scenarios and unique features of clots and arteries in the patients. In this study, a computation model that can mimic the thrombolytic therapy for ischaemic stroke is developed, which includes (i) a compartmental model for the pharmacokinetics of tPA, (ii) models of blood flow and drug transport and (iii) fibrinolytic reaction kinetics of clot lysis in a 3D patient-specifi c arterial geometry. Simulations are carried out for a 12-mm long clot located in the middle cerebral artery by varying a tPA dose and fibrin fibre radius in the clot that determines clot permeability. Results show that a coarser clot dissolves much faster by up to 5 times with its lysis patterns being noticeably different from a fine clot. It is also demonstrated that higher tPA doses accelerate the clot dissolution at the expense of an increased bleeding risk.