Mentor: Dr. Antonio Webb
College of Engineering
"Doing research helped me to grasp a clear plan concerning my education and future career goals. My utter goal is to develop alternatives to autologous transplant materials and to leave my mark in the medical field. I know for certain that as the complexity of medical crises arise; the solutions we resort to should develop. The interdisciplinary nature of research in BME will enable me to make breakthrough discoveries in tissue regeneration and commercializing tissue regeneration."
- Cell Culture Optimization
- Naturally Derived Biomaterials
- Cardiovascular Regeneration
- High School Outreach
- Elementary School Outreach
Hobbies and Interests
The Effect of Biochemical Cell Culture Conditions on the Amount of Collagen and Elastin Produced during Tissue Development
"Grafts will be grown under five different chemical conditions using ascorbic acid, to maximize collagen synthesis, and retinoic acid, to maximize elastin synthesis. Constructs will be analyzed via histology, biochemical assays, and mechanical tests to determine culture conditions that produce vessels with mechanical and biochemical compositions similar to that of native arteries. Vascular grafts grown in vitro do not have the elastin content required to prevent aneurysm formation. Addition of ascorbic acid to the culture medium can be used to increase collagen synthesis and improve burst pressure. However, ascorbic acid inhibits the synthesis of elastin. Likewise, retinoic acid can be added to the culture medium to increase elastin synthesis at the expense of collagen synthesis and smooth muscle cell proliferation. Therefore, biochemical culture conditions must be optimized to maximize the amount of collagen and elastin synthesis and thus create vessels with the high burst strength to prevent rupture and the elasticity to recoil under pulsatile radial strain. Autologous pig vascular cells will be used for all experiments. Smooth muscle cells will be obtained from pig jugular veins obtained from a local abattoir on ice. Biphasic constructs will be loaded into a bioreactor that allows the real time monitoring of the compliance as the vessels grow. Pulsatile flow will be used because it has been shown to produce mechanically and histologically superior constructs. Porcine smooth muscle cells will be cultured from small biopsies of the jugular vein."