Sanjiv Gunasekera    LinkedIn

PhD Candidate, University of New South Wales, Australia. 


PhD Topic:

"Experimental and numerical analysis of an arteriovenous fistula"

Research interests: PIV, CFD, haemodynamics, biofluids, clinical imaging


Current Project: New method of treating AVF disease

The experimental and numerical analysis of arteriovenous fistulae with the effect of juxta-anastomotic stenting.


Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects 10% of Australian adults and 1 in 9 Australian deaths had CKD as an underlying or associated cause. Besides kidney transplants, the next best treatment option is Haemodialysis which requires the creation of an arteriovenous fistula (AVF) to increase flow rate into a dialysing machine. In addition to increasing blood flow rate, the AVF also increases the size of the vein which makes the cannulation procedure easier.

The major drawback of the AVF is that it is prone to Intimal Hyperplasia (IH) which is the situation where there is migration and proliferation of smooth muscle cells to the inner surface of the vessels. This situation leads to stenosis formation which in turn decreases the function of the AVF. One technique to remedy this situation is to implant a stent (vascular scaffolding) in the diseased region of the AVF thereby expanding the section back to the required size. The specialty with the stent that is used is that the stent is flexible and is able to curve around the anastomosis. This property of the stent not only expands the size of the vessel, but also shapes the AVF in such a way that the flow is diverted to the vein with lower obstruction.


To investigate this effect, computational fluid dynamic (CFD) experiments will be conducted on patients with juxta-anastomotic stents. One of the factors of IH is the haemodynamic effect of blood. Therefore, the goal of conducting the CFD experiments is to analyse the wall shear stress and turbulence effects in the anastomotic region of the AVF. To validate the CFD experiment, Tomographic PIV experiments using lasers will be conducted on a bench-top model of an AVF with juxta-anastomotic stenting.


By examining the results of the validated CFD, the target is to hone haemodynamic factors that cause the success of the juxta-anastomotic stenting technique in an AVF.


2018-present PhD Mechanical Engineering (CFD), UNSW, Sydney

2016-2017 Undergraduate Mechanical Engineer, AECOM, Sydney

2013-2017 BEng Honours Class 1 (Mechanical Engineering), UNSW, Sydney


Runner up - School heats - Three minute thesis 2020

Conference papers


Gunasekera, S., Ng, O., Thomas, S., Varcoe, R., de Silva, Charitha., & Barber, T. (2019). Towards 3D PIV measurements of a patient-specific arteriovenous fistula. 9th Australian Conference on Laser Diagnostics, 87-90. 

Gunasekera, S., Ng, O., Thomas, S., Varcoe, R., de Silva, Charitha., & Barber, T. (2019). Australian Biomedical Engineering Conference 2019.

Copyright © 2019 Tracie Barber. All rights reserved.