Date of Award



Biomedical and General Engineering


Dr. Kristen O’Halloran Cardinal


Coronary artery disease affects millions of people and the ability to detect and treat the disease is advancing at a rapid rate. As a result, the development of intravascular technologies is the focus of many medical device manufacturers. Specifically, coronary stent implantation is being performed in an increasing number of patients and a number of new stent designs have been introduced to the market, resulting in the need for improved preclinical testing methods. An in vitro tissue engineered “blood vessel mimic” (BVM) system has previously been established and its feasibility for the initial testing of newly emerging intravascular technology has been demonstrated. There are limitations that exist with this original design, however, and the focus of this thesis was to both improve and expand upon the original model. Therefore, research was conducted based on two specific aims. The first aim was to develop a more ideal BVM system to accommodate a wider range of stent lengths and diameters, while allowing for easy graft insertion and seal-ability. The second aim was to develop next generation BVM systems,focused on future needs and technology, such as long, angulated and bifurcated geometries.

The work described in this thesis demonstrates that a BVM chamber can be created which has the advantages of easy graft insertion and seal-ability, as well as the ability to accommodate varying sizes of vessel scaffolds, all while maintaining the needs of a tissue engineering bioreactor system. The next generation BVM systems presented demonstrate that the BVM concept can be expanded to meet the needs of long, angulated and bifurcated geometries. Overall, the work in this thesis describes the design and optimization of an in vitro blood vessel mimic bioreactor system for the evaluation of intravascular devices, specifically coronary stents, in simple and complex vessel geometries.