Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Biomedical Engineering


Biomedical and General Engineering


Dr. Kristen O’Halloran Cardinal


Introduction: Diabetes Mellitus is a metabolic disorder that affects a person’s ability to either produce insulin (Type I diabetes mellitus) or properly use insulin (Type II diabetes mellitus) in order to maintain adequate blood glucose levels. The most severe diabetic complications arise due to hyperglycemia – a state of extremely high blood glucose levels – such as, coronary artery disease (CAD), in which coronary stent therapy is a popular method of treatment. However, research has shown a high rate of in-stent restenosis in diabetic patients with CAD, most likely due to activation of cellular adhesion molecules on endothelial cells exposed to the hyperglycemic environment. Blood vessel mimics (BVMs) have been researched as viable options for in vitro studies on vascular stents; thus, it would be beneficial to create an in vitro diabetic BVM for stent manufactures to evaluate and determine the root cause of the high failure rate of stents in the diabetic population. In addition, a diabetic BVM would help manufactures optimize coatings or stent configurations for diabetic patients. Methods: The purpose of this thesis was to take the initial steps towards the goal of a diabetic BVM. The first aim was to establish a procedure of developing glycemic cell media solutions of various glucose concentrations, and to establish a feasible method of monitoring the glucose concentration of the solutions. Glycemic cell media solutions were developed and their glucose concentrations were evaluated with a blood glucose meter (specifically, the Aviva Accu-Chek blood glucose meter) or visual blood glucose test strips (Glucoflex R visual blood glucose test strips). The second aim was to ensure that the developed glycemic cell media solutions could be monitored in a cell culture environment over time, and to determine if the hyperglycemic conditions induced any change to endothelial cells. Bovine aortic endothelial cells (BAECs) and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were used to evaluate glucose consumption and cell morphology. Glucose concentration of the cell media was recorded to evaluate glucose consumption, and the cells were evaluated under a microscope in order to determine cell morphology and an increase in cell death. Results & Conclusions: Data accumulated from the first set of experiments confirmed that glycemic cell media solutions can be developed by adding Sigma G6512 D-(+)-glucose to base cell media. Additionally, the Aviva Accu-Chek blood glucose meter recorded the most accurate and precise glucose concentrations of the various glycemic cell media solutions compared to the Glucoflex-R blood glucose visual test strips. Lastly, the series of experiments with BAECs and HUVECs confirmed that the glycemic cell media solutions could be effectively monitored over time, and that these conditions evoked higher glucose consumption by the endothelial cells compared to the normal glycemic cell media solutions. Additionally, neither glycemic environment evoked significant cell death. These results met the aims of this thesis, and therefore provide the foundation for further development of a diabetic BVM.