Degree Name

BS in Biomedical Engineering


Biomedical and General Engineering Department


Trevor Cardinal


Ischemic diseases are the result of atherosclerotic plaques, which occlude conduit arteries. Ischemic disease in different tissues leads to different conditions, such as coronary artery disease (CHD), cerebrovascular disease (CVD), and peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAOD). Patient vasculature architecture is variable; some patients having many collateral vessels, which are connect one arterial branch to another, and readily serve as natural bypass routes to atherosclerotic occlusions, to enlarge and provide blood flow to tissue distal to the occlusion. Patients with many natural collateral vessels are ischemia protected. Unfortunately, not all patients have collateral arterioles to remodel into conduit vessels and provide blood flow to distal tissue. It would therefore be advantageous to stimulate the arterialization of collateral capillaries, capillaries that connect adjacent arterial branches, to remodel and form conduit collaterals. Unfortunately, just having a robust collateral network is not sufficient to provide effective revascularization of tissue; it requires that collaterals have the ability to regulate blood flow, which is hypothesized to be impaired during collateral growth. Therefore the reactivity of arterialized capillaries was examined to determine if arterialized capillaries can regulate blood flow into the ischemic zone of tissue. Vascular reactivity of arterialized capillaries was examined using intravital microscopy with functional vasodilation seven days after surgical ischemia was induced. The reactivity of arterialized capillaries was significantly impaired (2% ± 2% vs. 29% ± 12% p