Biomedical and General Engineering Department
BS in Biomedical Engineering
Kristen O'Halloran Cardinal
Tissue engineered blood vessels (TEBV’s) have the potential to act not only as a replacement for diseased vessels, but also as a testing platform for intravascular devices such as stents. To this end, the goal of this study was to develop protocols for the construction of TEBV’s composed of human vascular cells and either expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) or poly-lactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA), as well as a protocol for gene expression in those TEBV’s. Initial experiments involved only human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC’s), but after low cell confluency and spreading in single-sodded vessels a second cell type, human umbilical vein smooth muscle cells (HUVSMC’s), were added in order to improve adhesion and overall physiological relevance of the model. For both ePTFE and PLGA, cell confluencies of near 100% were achieved with evidence of distinct endothelial and medial layers in the PLGA vessels (data not available for ePTFE). A protocol for RNA isolation, reverse transcription and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) was then developed which led to the isolation and quantification RNA from both ePTFE and PLGA vessels. In conclusion, protocols for TEBV construction and gene expression analysis were developed for both PLGA and ePTFE TEBV’s.