Francesco Costanzo Research

Clot fracture mechanics with applications in the surgical therapy of acute stroke


Understanding the fatigue response of hard calcified clots can lead to the design of new surgical techniques for removing such clots during acute stroke. This project uses a finite element analysis tool like COMSOL Multiphysics to predict the time-dependent evolution of stress fields in a clot subjected to cyclic pressure fields.


The objective of the project is to engage students in the use of computational tools for the prediction of the mechanical response of clots. The main hypothesis is that the macroscopic response of a clot can be modeled mathematically in the same way as traditional materials in engineering applications.


The primary investigative method is computational analysis via the application of the finite element method.

Data to be Collected

As input to the analysis, the constitutive parameters of blood clots at various aging conditions need to be collected from the literature. The data from the calculations consists of time-dependent displacement, strain, and stress fields in the clot.


The analysis of the numerical data produced consists in the identification of strain/stress concentration locations within the clot and in relation to the adjutant arterial wall.

REU Faculty Research Projects

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  • Application deadline is January 22, 2018

Contact Information

  • Jenna Sieber
    Graduate Program Assistant
    REU Administrative Assistant
    205 Hallowell Building


The Department of Biomedical Engineering administers the undergraduate major in biomedical engineering, and is a part of the university-wide Intercollege Graduate Degree Program, offering both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Bioengineering. Our work combines traditional engineering principles with medicine and technology for the betterment of human health and society. 

Department of Biomedical Engineering

205 Hallowell Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-863-6614