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4mmCongenital heart disease is the leading cause of death for infants born with birth defects and represents 1% of births in the USA, and, according to the NIH, that is 8 out of every 1,000 newborns. CHD is the most common type of birth defect. CHD includes single ventricle disease (Hypolastic Left Heart Syndrome – HLHS), Tetralogy of Fallot, transposition of the great arteries, and aortic coarctation name of few such CHD malformations. Successful treatment of CHD present opportunities to improve quality of life for individuals afflicted with this disease with consequent benefit to society. Over 1 million adults in the USA are living with congenital heart defects (http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/chd).
CHD refers to a series of cardiac malformations of the structure of the heart that are present at birth, and these may be due to malformations of heart walls, valves defect, and malformation of arteries and veins carrying blood to or away from the heart. CHD results in abnormal blood flow through the heart and may range from simple to complex life-threatening defects requiring intricate surgical interventions that may be performed over the span of several years of a child’s life. The predictive capabilities afforded by engineering analysis of resulting hemodynamics and mechanics come to aid medical professionals in treatment planning and in exploring and assessing new interventional and palliative procedures. An example of the success of this interdisciplinary collaboration is the modification of the Fontan or third and end-stage palliative treatment of HLHS, where the shape of the Fontan connection has been optimized from a fluid mechanics point of view based on extensive use of multi-scale computational fluid dynamics analysis to successfully reduce pressure losses in this delicate circulation in which pulmonary return flow is purely driven by a pressure gradient between functional right ventricle and the pulmonary pressure with no ventricular assistance that would be present in a normal circulation. The major improvement in this surgical procedure that has translated to clinical application to the benefit of HLHS patients is a direct result of close collaboration between engineering and medical researchers and medical professionals and clinicians.
The field of engineering applications in congenital heart disease has undergone an explosive growth in both application and development nationally and worldwide over the past decades. The cutting edge problems that are the subject of this conference are at the interface of engineering and medicine. The 5th International Conference on Engineering Frontiers in Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease aims to bring together professionals in both the engineering and medical disciplines to foster collaboration between these two communities in the study of treatment of congenital heart disease. The close interaction of medical doctors and engineering researchers is critical to achieving advances in the treatment of this disease and to bring engineering to bear as an aid to physicians in understanding aspects of the disease, in improving and developing diagnostic tools, and in exploring novel approaches to improving treatment planning.
The conference thus presents a forum for participants to interact and share medical and engineering-related concepts and methodologies. The meeting of these two worlds brings together graduate students, academic researcher experts in engineering and medicine, and medical professional and clinicians for two days of presentations, poster sessions, discussions and brainstorming sessions while providing a forum to spawn new collaborations.
History of the Conference Series: This is the fifth in a series of meetings organized and held by the University of California at San Diego in the USA (2010), Great Ormond Street Hospital in London UK (2011), Stanford Medical School in Palo Alto USA (2012), and INRIA-Rocquencourt in Versailles, France (2014). The current meeting will be held at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine at Lake Nona in Orlando Florida June 9 & 10, 2016. This series brings together medical professionals, surgeons, and clinicians with engineers from academia and industry with the aims of facilitating and promoting translational engineering modeling research in the area of pediatric congenital heart disease.

Permanent link to this article: http://engfrontiers.org/