Available at: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/theses/2081
Date of Award
MS in Biomedical Engineering
Biomedical and General Engineering
Blood vessel mimics (BVMs) are simple tissue engineered blood vessel constructs intended for preclinical testing of vascular devices. This thesis developed and implemented methods to characterize two of these components. The first aim of this thesis investigated the effect of cell culture duration and flow conditions on endothelial cell gene expression, especially regarding endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndMT). A trend of decreased endothelial marker gene expression and increased mesenchymal marker gene expression would indicate EndMT. qPCR analysis revealed that increased cell culture duration did not result in EndMT, and in fact increased endothelial marker expression as cell culture duration increased. Disturbed flow conditions decreased endothelial marker and increased mesenchymal marker expression relative to static culture.
The second aim of this thesis developed methods to determine cytotoxicity of, and endothelial cell adhesion to, novel BTEAC salt scaffolds. Immunostaining was used to visualize these scaffold effects. The cytotoxicity elution assay showed that BTEAC salt scaffolds were not more cytotoxic than the standard PLGA scaffold. Direct contact assays spanning several timepoints also found that BTEAC salt scaffolds were not more cytotoxic than standard scaffolds but had higher endothelial cell adhesion and coverage than standard scaffolds. Overall, this thesis developed and implemented methods to characterize the endothelial cells used in the BVM model.