Vascularization of thick engineered tissue and organ constructs like the heart, liver, pancreas or kidney remains a major challenge in tissue engineering. Vascularization is needed to supply oxygen and nutrients and remove waste in living tissues and organs through a network that should possess high perfusion ability and significant mechanical strength and elasticity. In this thesis, we introduce a fabrication process to print vascular conduits directly, where conduits were reinforced with carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to enhance their mechanical properties and bioprintability. The generation of vascular conduit with a natural polymer hydrogel such as alginate needs to have improved mechanical properties in order to biomimic the natural vascular system. Carbon nanotube (CNT) is one of the best candidates for this goal because it is known as the strongest material and possesses a simple structure.
In this thesis, multi-wall carbon nanotube (MWCNT) is dispersed homogenously in the hydrogel and fabricated through an extrusion-based system.In vitro evaluation of printed conduits encapsulated in human coronary artery smooth muscle cells was performed to characterize the effects of CNT reinforcement on the mechanical, perfusion and biological performance of the conduits. Perfusion and permeability, cell viability, extracellular matrix formation and tissue histology were assessed and discussed, and it was concluded that CNT-reinforced vascular conduits provided a foundation for mechanically appealing constructs where CNTs could be replaced with natural protein nanofibers for further integration of these conduits in large-scale tissue fabrication. It was concluded that MWCNT has a significant effect on mechanical properties, vascular conduit swelling ratio and biological characterization in short-term and long-term cellular viability.
|Advisor:||Ozbolat, Ibrahim T.|
|Commitee:||Cwiertny, David M., Xiao, Shaoping|
|School:||The University of Iowa|
|School Location:||United States -- Iowa|
|Source:||MAI 54/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Biomedical engineering, Industrial engineering|
|Keywords:||3d printing, Artificial vascular conduits, Carbon nanotube reinforcement, Multi wall carbon nanotube, Tissue engineering, Tissue histology|
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