Dr Sean Bello, a cardiac surgeon with specialist interest in heart and lung transplantation, completed a BHF funded PhD project at the Imperial Centre for Translational and Experimental Medicine (ICTEM) laboratory of the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London under the supervision of Professor Cesare Terracciano. He investigated the role left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) play in promoting reverse remodelling of the failing heart with particular emphasis on the effect of mechanical unloading on the regenerative capacity of the adult heart. Furthermore, by using reperfusion and prolonged unloading in a rat model of heterotopic abdominal heart transplantation, he investigated the effect of this combined strategy on the propagation of myocardial fibrosis after a heart attack. His investigation involved a range of techniques to identify changes in collagen amount and localization, cellular remodelling and cellular proliferation. He also carried out pressure-volume loop studies to assess ex vivo rat ‘whole heart’ systolic and diastolic functional performances after unloading using a Radnoti working heart apparatus.
Dr Bello was awarded his PhD in 2020 but continues his scientific collaboration with the research team at Imperial College London in an honorary capacity.
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