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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/29772

Title: Characterization and Modeling of the Remodeling Process that Occurs in Modular Tissue Engineered Constructs Assembled Within Microfluidic Perfusion Chambers
Authors: Khan, Omar
Advisor: Sefton, Michael
Department: Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry
Keywords: tissue engineering
microfluidics
perfusion
endothelial cells
mesenchymal stromal cells
activation
differentiation
remodeling
model
collagen
poloxamine
activation
shear stress
disturbed flow
vascular
modular
Issue Date: 31-Aug-2011
Abstract: Using a modular approach, a vascularized tissue construct is created by embedding functional cells within submillimeter-sized collagen cylinders (modules) while the outside surfaces are seeded with endothelial cells (EC). The void spaces created by randomly packing modules into a container form EC-lined perfusion channels. Upon implantation, the tissues are remodeled by and integrated into the host and experience, to some degree, immune and inflammatory responses. This work utilized microfluidic techniques to study and model the tissue remodeling in vitro in the absence of the host response. When the construct’s tortuous perfusion channels were reproduced in poly(dimethylsiloxane) microfluidic devices and lined with EC, perfusion at higher flow rates reduced EC activation and maintained the desired quiescent EC phenotype. When applying these results to collagen constructs, higher flow rates were not achievable due to the weak mechanical properties of collagen. To increase the collagen’s mechanical strength, a semi-synthetic collagen/poloxamine-methacrylate hydrogel was examined but due to its heterogeneous surface composition, there was inadequate EC attachment and the material was deemed unsuitable for this application. Proceeding with lower flow rates, tissues assembled within microfluidic perfusion chambers from EC-seeded collagen modules showed that over the course of 24 hours, perfusion did not significantly increase activation but instead increased KLF2 expression, a transcription factor involved in the establishment of EC quiescence, and disrupted VE-cadherin bonds between adjacent EC. However, after 1 week of perfusion, the majority of EC were lost. To ameliorate this loss, mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) were embedded within the modules in order to take advantage of their anti-apoptotic and immunomodulation effects. The MSC temporarily mitigated the loss of the EC but did not prevent it. They did, however, take on a phenotype similar to smooth muscle cells and migrated towards the EC. Perhaps this indicates that the combination of EC, MSC and perfusion drives the creation and assembly of pseudo vessels. Together, the microfluidic techniques used in this study to assemble and perfuse modular tissues revealed new insights into the remodeling process and exposed critical issues surrounding the adaptation of the EC to the combination of perfusion, remodeling and changing flow fields.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/29772
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

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