(Dr. Raymond Vito, advisor)
"Cyclic Axial Distension in Perfusion Organ Culture"
The proposed research seeks to investigate the effects of cyclic axial distraction on arteries using a perfusion organ culture model. Arteries are subjected to a dynamic mechanical environment created by pulsatile blood pressure and flow as well as the movement of surrounding tissues. Arteries are known to adapt to alterations in pressure and flow by changing wall thickness and luminal diameter, respectively. However, the effect of axial loading, either static or dynamic, on arterial wall remodeling is less understood. The results of cell culture, organ culture, and in vivo studies suggest that dynamic axial loading plays a significant role in vascular remodeling. The proposed research will examine how the amplitude of cyclic loading influences adaptive responses in different types of arteries over time by measuring mechanical properties and important biological markers. The results from this study will further the understanding of the adaptation of arteries to their mechanical environment. These results are important to the field of tissue engineering where efforts to develop a tissue engineered vascular graft are limited by a fundamental understanding of the effects of the mechanical environment on construct biology.