Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Biomedical Engineering


Biomedical and General Engineering


Dr. David Clague


The goal of this project was to determine whether i) fused deposition modeling could be employed to manufacture molds for vascular constructs, ii) whether vascular constructs could be created from these molds, and iii) to verify practical equivalence between observed fluid velocities. Dye tracking was to be employed to characterize fluid velocity profiles through the in vitro vascular constructs, including a half-vessel model and a full vessel model of an iliac artery aneurysm. A PDMS half-vessel construct was manufactured, and the movement of dye through the construct was tracked by a cellphone camera. Thresholds were applied to each video in HSB or YUV mode in ImageJ, and analyzed to determine the velocity of the fluid through the construct. COMSOL simulations of the half-vessel were conducted for comparison to the empirical observations. Plots describing the flow velocities along the maximum streamline path length were generated, and a one sample t-test was conducted at a 5% significance level to determine whether there was a significant difference between velocity values obtained by dye tracking and the COMSOL simulations. It was determined that the empirical dye tracking trials failed to demonstrate agreement between the measured and predicted flow rates. A full vessel construct was not completed due to unforeseen time constraints.

Dye tracking was not determined to be reliable as a means of measuring the maximum velocity of fluid. Discrepancies between the empirical observations and the COMSOL simulation are discussed. The discrepancy was attributed to limitations in the experimental protocol; low frame rate, poor control over lighting conditions, and the subjectivity involved in image processing. Methods of improving upon the manufacturing and experimental protocols used for the half-vessel are proposed for future work, such as improving control over lighting conditions, choosing a camera with a higher frame rate, constructing a more stable fixture, exploring PIV. Additionally, the technical problems leading to the failure to complete the full vessel model are discussed, and changes in the manufacturing process are proposed to allow dissolution or removal of the aneurysm model.