Assistant Professor

Olivier Villemain

MD, PhD, Paris Descartes University

The Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute
686 Bay St, 9th floor, Room 9.9703, Toronto, Ontario Canada M5G 0A4
Research Interests
Biomedical Imaging, Cardiovascular Sciences

At a Glance

  • Apply ultrafast ultrasound imaging techniques to paediatrics populations through the use of the Verasonic imaging system
  • Apply ultrafast Doppler technology to assess cardiac muscle perfusion and study the differences between normal pediatric hearts and diseased pediatric hearts
  • Use multidisciplinary approach to develop, validate, and clinically translate a novel diagnostic method to assess diastolic function in paediatric populations
  • Apply cavitation phenomena (HIFU mechanical approach) in cardiology to develop non-invasive therapy techniques
  • Collaborate with national and international scientists, clinicians, and students to contribute to the field of cardiac research

Short Bio

Olivier Villemain did his medical training and undertook specialist training in paediatrics and paediatric cardiology in Paris, France. He graduated from medical school at the Paris Descartes University in 2014. Afterwards, he became Assistant Professor in Paediatric Cardiology at Necker Hospital - Sick Children (Paris) for two years.

In addition to his medical training, he studied cardiovascular physiology (MSc, Paris Descartes University, 2014) and acoustic physics. Between 2014 and 2017, he worked at the Langevin Institute (Paris), a laboratory specialized in acoustic physics. This resulted in a PhD thesis on the new applications of ultrasound in cardiology in 2017. He worked full-time again in this laboratory, between November 2018 and July 2019, as a collaborator.

In July 2019, he was appointed as a clinician investigator and staff cardiologist at SickKids.

Research Synopsis

The focus of Villemain’s research has been to apply new ultrasound technologies inpediatric cardiology. His two main translational topics are ultrafast ultrasound imagingand focused ultrasound therapy in cardiology:

Ultrafast ultrasound imaging is able to capture images at frame rates up to 100 times faster compared to conventional imaging. Specific applications of this technology have been developed and tested for clinical use in pediatric and adult cardiac imaging. These include ultrafast Doppler or vector flow imaging, shear wave imaging (assessment of tissue stiffness), electromechanical wave imaging and backscatter tensor imaging (assessment of fiber orientation).

Focused ultrasound therapy, particularly by cavitation (purely mechanical effect), makes it possible to apply ultrasound for treating congenital cardiac pathologies. The Pulsed Cavitational Ultrasound Softening and the Chordal Cutting were two possible approaches to cavitation in cardiology, he hopes through his research program to develop other applications to this technology.

Recent Publications

Villemain O, Baranger J, Friedberg M, Papadacci C, Dizeux A, Messas E, Tanter M, Pernot M / Mertens L. Ultrafast Ultrasound Imaging in Pediatric and Adult Cardiology: Techniques, Applications and Perspectives. JACC Cardiovasc Imaging. 2020 (In press)

Villemain O, Correia M, Mousseaux E, Baranger J, Zarka S, Podetti I, Soulat G, Damy T, Hagège A, Tanter M, Pernot M, Messas E. Myocardial stiffness evaluation using non-invasive shear wave imaging in healthy and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy adults. JACC Cardiovasc Imaging. 2019

Villemain O, Correia M, Khraiche D, Podetti I, Meot M, Legendre A, Tanter M, Bonnet D, Pernot M. Myocardial Stiffness Assessment Using Shear Wave Imaging in Pediatric Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. JACC Cardiovasc Imaging. 2017

Pernot M, Villemain O. In the Heart of Sitffness: Are Natural Heart Vibrations Reliable Enough to Assess Myocardial Stiffness, The New Holy Grail in Echocardiography? JACC Cardiovasc Imaging. 2019

Maresca D, Correia M, Villemain O, Bizé A, Sambin L, Tanter M, Ghaleh B, Pernot M. Noninvasive Imaging of the Coronary Vasculature Using Ultrafast Ultrasound. JACC Cardiovasc Imaging. 2017

Villemain O, Sitefane F, Pernot M, Malekzadeh-Milani S, Tanter M, Bonnet D, Boudjemline Y. Toward Noninvasive Assessment of CVP Variations Using Real-Time and Quantitative Liver Stiffness Estimation. JACC Cardiovasc Imaging. 2017

Pernot M, Villemain O. Stone liver, Heart in danger: Could the liver stiffness assessment improve the management of patients with Heart Failure? JACC Cardiovasc Imaging. 2018

Villemain O, Kwiecinski W, Bel A, Robin J, Bruneval P, Arnal B, Tanter M, Pernot M, Messas E. Pulsed cavitational ultrasound for non-invasive chordal cutting guided by real-Time 3D echocardiography. Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging. 2016

Villemain O, Robin J, Bel A, Kwiecinski W, Bruneval P, Arnal B, Rémond M, Tanter M, Messas E, Pernot M. Pulsed Cavitational Ultrasound Softening: A New Noninvasive Therapeutic Approach for Calcified Bioprosthetic Valve Stenosis. JACC Basic to Transl Sci. 2017

Papadacci C, Finel V, Provost J, Villemain O, Bruneval P, Gennisson J-L, Tanter M, Fink M, Pernot M. Imaging the dynamics of cardiac fiber orientation in vivo using 3D Ultrasound Backscatter Tensor Imaging. Scientific Report. 2017

Graduate Students

Nikan Fakhari
Naiyuan Zhang