520 Computational Mechanics in Pediatric Medicine

Vittoria Flamini, New York University
Asimina Kazakidi, University of Strathclyde
From fetuses, to newborns, to children and adolescents there is a large number of pediatric patients in need of computational strategies to improve the treatment of their conditions. In fact, the pediatric age is characterized by very rapid and sudden changes, which make it extremely difficult to test standard paradigms of care. Therefore, physical growth of infants and children makes pediatric treatments highly personalized, especially when it comes to surgeries and prosthetics. On the one hand there is the difficulty of conducting in-depth clinical trials on large patient populations for each stage of growth and development, especially when it comes to rare congenital disease; on the other hand there is the need to treat these conditions as soon as possible, sometimes even in the womb, to ensure a good quality of life in these subjects.
The growing use of computational mechanics as patient-specific predictive tools for adult treatments has spurred interest in engineers, researchers and physicians for the use of computational methods in predicting the outcome of extremely personalized pediatric treatments, for which the need of prognostic tools is high and vital.
The translation of established computational methods used in adults to pediatric patients has its own challenges, from the lack of high-quality images, as children are often spared CT-scans, to the need of an accurate predictions in very rapid times.
In this minisymposium we aim to explore the state of the art of this growing, interdisciplinary area of application of computational mechanics. Therefore, this minisymposium will include a complete review of the computational strategies applied to pediatric care: from fluid dynamic models applied to the identification of the best surgeries to correct congenital heart defect, to biomechanical computational approaches to assess growth in children, to numerical models of fetal development, to simulations of pediatric medical device treatments. The outcome of this minisymposium will be a productive gathering of minds, where experts from different areas of pediatric computational mechanics will gather together and exchange thoughts on strategies to overcome the challenges of this field of study and ideas to further the application of computational mechanics as a clinical tool for pediatric medicine.