Orla is a graduate of NUI Galway (2014), who received a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering. During her degree Orla received a scholarship to spend her 3rd year studying at Purdue University in the United States. Orla also undertook two international placements in the summers of 2012 and 2013 at Hollister Inc. in Libertyville, IL and at Fort Wayne Metals Ltd. in Fort Wayne, IN respectively. Following her placement at Fort Wayne Metals Orla was awarded the 2014 Rachel Craig Prize for outstanding achievement in professional experience placement. In July 2014 Orla was awarded an Irish Research Council EMBARK Postgraduate Scholarship to pursue a PhD in collaboration with Boston Scientific. Orla specialises in computational modelling and experimental modelling techniques to investigate the long term potential of the next generation of Transcatheter Aortic Heart Valves (TAVI).
Aortic stenosis is a degenerative disease of the aortic heart valve whereby calcium deposits build up on the leaflets of the heart valve and this can lead to regurgitation and stenosis. Transcatheter aortic heart valves are a minimally invasive alternative to surgical heart valves. They consist of tissue leaflets mounted on to a valve stent that is then crimped and delivered via a catheter to the site of the disease. This project involves using experimental and computational techniques to investigate the long term performance of Boston Scientifics LotusTM transcatheter aortic valve.