Dr Nigel Shrive and Dr John Tyberg discuss their work on cardiovascular hæmodynamics and their experiences in the field of cardiac sciences
Nigel Shrive is based in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Calgary and John Tyberg in the Departments of Cardiac Sciences and Physiology/Pharmacology. They have collaborated for over 25 years through the Biomedical Engineering program at the University. This program brings together academic staff from six different faculties to work on biomedical projects of mutual interest. Through their collaborative work, Drs Shrive and Tyberg have provided insights on the structural behaviour of the septum and possible causes of angina under abnormal loading conditions, the mechanical role of the pericardium in helping heart function, as well as fluid-structure interaction in the major vessels supplying blood to or taking blood away from the heart. These efforts have led to a different interpretation of hæmodynamics than the paradigm that was proposed over 60 years ago, as discussed in this article. Their perspective is beginning to be accepted by some! More recently they have concentrated on seeing if their methodology can help clinicians diagnose disease, and if their methodology can shed light on diastolic suction (when the heart relaxes after a contraction, in part, does it “suck” blood into the expanding chambers as part of the refilling process).