I am Research Associate in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London. I use patient-specific image-based computational methods to study growth and development of thoracic aortic aneurysms (TAA). My research will help understand why ascending TAA develop, grow, and rupture, helping clinicians to target treatment on patients’ needs.
I completed my BSc and MSc in Biomedical Engineering at Politecnico di Milano (Milan, Italy) in 2012 and 2015, respectively. For my master thesis project I developed a platform for the analysis of 4D flow MRI data in order to evaluate fluid-dynamic alterations that are induced in the ascending aorta by bicuspid aortic valve disease. I obtained my PhD from Imperial College London in 2019. My PhD thesis dealt with the impact of different replacement procedures of the aortic valve on aortic hemodynamics.
2019 - Present
Research Associate, Imperial College London
2015 - 2019
Early Stage Researcher (ITN H2020 Marie Sklodowska Curie) and PhD candidate, Imperial College London
2012 - 2015
MSc in Biomedical Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy
2009 – 2012
BSc in Biomedical Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy
My research interests include applications of computational biomechanics (CFD, FEA, FSI) and imaging techniques to study the cardiovascular systems, as well as to analyse, design, and optimize cardiovascular devices.
July 2020-Present, “Finite Element Analysis of Enlarged Thoracic Aortas”. BHF Centre of Research Excellence.
Sept 2018 - July 2020, “Debunking the aortic myth: can fluid and material biomechanics predict thoracic aortic wall degradation?”. NIHR Imperial College BRC.
Sept 2015 - Aug 2018, “Patient-Specific Analysis of the Hemodynamic Performance of Surgical and Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacements”. ITN H2020 Marie Sklodowska Curie Action - MUltiSectoral Integrative approaches to CArdiac care (MUSICARE).
Prof Xiao Yun Xu
Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London, UK
O.A. Jarral, M. Czerny, M.K.H. Tan, M.Y. Salmasi, S. Pirola, J.R. Pepper, D.P. O’Regan, XY. Xu, T. Athanasiou, “Phase-contrast magnetic resonance imaging and computational fluid dynamics assessment of thoracic aorta blood flow: a literature review”, European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (2019). https://doi.org/10.1093/ejcts/ezz280
B. Guo, Z. Dong, S. Pirola, Y. Liu, C. Menichini, X.Y. Xu, D. Guo, W. Fu, “Dissection level within aortic wall layers is associated with propagation of type B aortic dissection: A Swine Model Study”, European Journal of Vascular & Endovascular Surgery (2019), https://www.ejves.com/article/S1078-5884(19)30125-X/fulltext
S. Saitta, S. Pirola, F. Piatti, E. Votta, F. Lucherini, F. Pluchinotta, M. Carminati, M. Lombardi, C. Geppert, F. Cuomo, C.A. Figueroa, X.Y. Xu, A. Redaelli, “Evaluation of 4D Flow MRI-based non-invasive pressure assessment in aortic coarctations”, Journal of Biomechanics (2019) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbiomech.2019.07.004
S. Pirola, B. Guo, C. Menichini, S. Saitta, W. Fu, Z. Dong, X.Y. Xu, “4D Flow MRI-Based Computational Analysis of Blood Flow in Patient-Specific Aortic Dissection”, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering (2019). Feature article in the TBME 2019 December Issue. https://doi.org/10.1109/tbme.2019.2904885
C. Menichini, S. Pirola, B. Guo, W. Fu, Z. Dong, X.Y. Xu, “High Wall Stress May Predict the Formation of Stent-Graft–Induced New Entries After Thoracic Endovascular Aortic Repair”, J Endovasc Ther (2018), https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1526602818791827
B. Guo, S. Pirola, D. Guo, Z. Dong, X.Y. Xu, W. Fu, “Hemodynamic evaluation using four-dimensional flow magnetic resonance imaging for a patient with multichanneled aortic dissection”, Journal of Vascular Surgery Cases and Innovative Techniques (2018), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvscit.2017.11.005
S. Pirola, O.A. Jarral, D.P. O’Regan, G. Asimakopoulos, J.R. Anderson, J.R. Pepper, T. Athanasiou, X.Y. Xu, “Computational Study of Aortic Hemodynamics for Patients with an Abnormal Aortic Valve: the Importance of Secondary Flow at the Ascending Aorta Inlet”, APL Bioengineering (2018), https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5011960. Recognized as APL Bioengineering 2019 top-cited papers: https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5011960
S. Pirola, Z. Cheng, O.A. Jarral, D.P. O’Regan, T. Athanasiou, X.Y. Xu, “On the choice of outlet boundary conditions for patient-specific analysis of aortic flow using computational fluid dynamics”, J Biomech (2017), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbiomech.2017.06.005
F. Piatti, F. Sturla, M. Bissel, S. Pirola, M. Lombardi, I. Nesteruk, A. Della Corte, A. Redaelli, E. Votta, “4D Flow Analysis of BAV-Related Fluid-Dynamic Alterations: Evidences of Wall Shear Stress Alterations in Absence of Clinically-Relevant Aortic Anatomical Remodeling”, Frontiers in Physiology (2017), https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2017.00441
F. Piatti; S. Pirola; M. Bissell, I. Nesteruk, F. Sturla, A. Della Corte, A. Redaelli, E. Votta, “Towards the improved quantification of in vivo abnormal wall shear stresses in BAV-affected patients from 4D-flow imaging: Benchmarking and application to real data”, J Biomech (2017), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbiomech.2016.11.044
S. Pirola, C. Menichini, B. Guo, S. Saitta, W. Fu, Z. Dong, X.Y. Xu, “4D Flow MRI Based Assessment of Aortic Hemodynamics”, UK-China Researcher Links Workshop, 10th September 2019, Shanghai (China) - Oral presentation
S. Pirola, C. Menichini, B. Guo, S. Saitta, W. Fu, Z. Dong, X.Y. Xu, “Patient-Specific Evaluation of Post-TEVAR Hemodynamic Performance in Aortic Dissection”, SB3C2019, 25th-29th June 2019, Seven Springs (USA) - Poster
S. Pirola, O.A. Jarral, M.Y. Salmasi, D.P. O’Regan, J.R. Pepper, T. Athanasiou,X.Y. Xu, ”Image-Based Assessment of the Hemodynamic Performance of Surgical and Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacements”, SB3C2019, 25th-29th June 2019 - Poster
S. Pirola, M.Y. Salmasi, O.A. Jarral, J. Frattolin, J-L. Robertus, J. Moore Jr, J. Pepper, A. Oo, T. Athanasiou, X.Y. Xu, “Debunking the Aortic Myth: Can Fluid and Material Biomechanics Allow us to Predict Acute Aortic Syndrome?”, SCTS2019, 10th-12th March 2019, London (UK) - Poster
S. Pirola, O.A. Jarral, M. Y. Salmasi, Z. Cheng, D.P. O’Regan, G. Asimakopoulos, J.R. Anderson, J.R. Pepper, T. Athanasiou, X.Y. Xu, “Evaluation of Aortic Hemodynamics in the Presence of Aortic Valve Pathologies and after Surgical and Transcatheter Valve Replacement”, ATTICC2018, 11th-12th September 2018, Venice (Italy) -Oral presentation.
S. Pirola, F. Sturla, F. Lucherini, R. Vismara, M. Jaworek, S. Saitta, F. DeMarco, F. Pluchinotta, M. Lombardi, F. Piatti, G.B. Fiore, A. Redaelli, E. Votta, X.Y. Xu, “Quantification of the Aortic Hemodynamics after Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation Combining 3D-Printing, 4D PC-MRI and Computational Fluid Dynamics”, World Congress of Biomechanics, 8th-12th July 2018, Dublin (Ireland) - Poster
S. Pirola, O.A. Jarral, D.P. O’Regan, T. Athanasiou, X.Y. Xu, “Influence of Inlet Boundary Conditions on the Evaluation of Aortic Wall Shear Stress for Patients with Abnormal Aortic Valves”, SB3C2017 – Oral presentation
S. Pirola, X.Y. Xu, “Influence of outlet boundary conditions on patient-specific analysis of aortic flow and wall shear stress: comparison with in-vivo data and between different conditions”, Biomechanics in Vascular Biology and Cardiovascular Diseases 2017 – Poster
S. Pirola, F. Piatti*, F. Sturla, E.G. Caiani, E. Votta, I. Nesteruk, M. Lombardi, A. Della Corte, M.M. Bissell, A. Redaelli, “Phase Contrast MRI: Development of a User-Friendly Platform for Fast-Automated Segmentation and Fluid-Dynamic Post-Processing”, CinC 2015 – Oral presentation
S. Pirola, F. Sturla, E.G. Caiani, E. Votta, I. Nesteruk, M. Lombardi, A. Della Corte, M.M. Bissell, A. Redaelli, “4D Flow PC-MRI for the Assessment of Bicuspid Aortic Valve Effects on the Ascending Aorta Fluid Dynamics: an Intuitive Clinically Oriented Analysis Platform”, Heart Valve Society Inaugural Scientific Meeting 2015 – Poster
S. Pirola, E. Opri, A. M. Bianchi, S. Marceglia, “Modelling and Implementing a Signal Persistence Manager for Shared Biosignal Storage and Processing”, MEDICON2013 – Oral presentation
2019: 2019 Dudley Newitt PhD Thesis Prize for Theoretical/Computational Excellence, Imperial College London, London, UK
2018: Winner of 2nd best oral presentation awards at the Chemical Engineering PhD symposium, Imperial College London – Panel and Public awards
2017: Winner of 2nd best poster presentation award at the Chemical Engineering PhD symposium, Imperial College London – Panel award
2015: Winner "Mario Stefanelli" GNB prize 2015 for MSc Thesis awarded by the Italian Bioengineering Group (GNB) and the University of Pavia
2015: Semi-finalist award of the Rosanna Degani Young Investor Award (YIA) at Computing in Cardiology 2015 (CinC2015)
Aug 2020 – Aug 2021 BHF Centre of Research Excellence, “Finite Element Analysis of Enlarged Thoracic Aortas” (RE/18/4/34215). Role: co-I; intellectual design of study protocol, grant writer.
March 2018 – Oct 2020 NIHR Imperial BRC Research Programme: “Can Fluid and Material Biomechanics Allow us to Predict Acute Aortic Syndrome? (P74143). Role: co-I; intellectual design of study protocol, grant writer, responsible for computational analyses of blood flow, training of involved students, result analysis and interpretation.
Sept 2015 – Sept 2018 Marie Sklodowska Curie Fellow (ESR04) in MUltiSectoral Integrative approaches to CArdiac care (MUSICARE) with a fully funded PhD scholarship awarded by the ITN H2020 Marie Sklodowska Curie Action (project number 642458).
Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London (UK). Graduate teaching assistant in the following modules:
Fluid Mechanics - 1st and 3rd Year Undergraduate
Heat and Mass Transfer - 1st Year Undergraduate
Transport Phenomena in Biological Systems – 4th Year Undergraduate
Mathematics - 1st Year Undergraduate
ACEX 1M17, Department of Chemical Engineering
Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus
London, SW7 2AZ, UK
+44 (0)207 594 2562