M.S. Thesis Presentation by Tarek Elshazly
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

( Dr. David Ku, Chair)

"Characterization of PVA Hydrogels with Regards to Vascular Graft Development"


PVA hydrogels are potential biomaterials for various tissue-engineering applications. PVA hydrogels are relevant to vascular graft development due to their excellent biocompatibility and the capability to possess a wide range of mechanical properties based on compositional and processing parameters. This thesis aims to characterize some PVA hydrogels mechanically, biologically, and physically. A constitutive formulation is used for mechanical characterization, which allows for analysis of any possible stress-strain configuration applied to the material. A bovine aortic endothelial cell adhesion study under physiologic blood flow conditions comprises the biologic characterization, which gives insight into how human endothelial cells might interact with PVA hydrogels in a vascular graft application. A high-resolution SEM study is used to physically characterize the material, which furthers the understanding of the reactions of this material in vivo. These characterizations of PVA hydrogels will aid in the development of tissue-engineered products, in particular, the potential use as a vascular grafting biomaterial.