Tissue-Engineered Arterial Tunica Media with Multi-layered, Circumferentially Aligned Smooth Muscle Architecture
Yan, Shi Ying Calysta
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Blood vessels play an important role in drug screening in terms of permeability and control of blood flow through cellular responses. Three distinctive functional layers make up the architecture of blood vessels, including tunica intima, tunica media and tunica externa. Among all layers, the tunica media layer regulates vascular tone and circumferential alignment of smooth muscle cells in tunica media is crucial to constrictive performances of vessels. Although much research has studied the anisotropic alignment of smooth muscle cells, there is yet a method to fabricate anisotropic smooth muscle cells in a three-dimensional hydrogel to mimic native tunica media. This project addresses the need for an in vitro tissue-engineered tunica media model that replicates in vivo architecture of circumferentially aligned smooth muscle cells in tunica media that is robust and reproducible. The project is divided into three phases: (1) A robust method to fabricate three-dimensional tunica media with circumferentially aligned smooth muscle cells and (2) the characterization and assessment on functional properties of tunica media model. Ultimately, the success of this project allows formation of tunica media with native functionalities through cellular remodeling and mechanical properties to serve as a model of tunica media tissue in blood vessels.
- Bioengineering