Graduate Studies


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A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Mechanical Engineering, Under the Supervision of Professor Linxia Gu. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2012

Copyright (c) 2012 Brian David Steinert


Responses and remodeling of human arteries have been related to their complex loading conditions including longitudinal stretch, bending, radial expansion and contraction, and torsion. However, the quantitative correlation between external forces and the arterial remodeling in terms of extracellular matrix production, morphology, and cell proliferation rates is limited. The goal of this work was to develop an organ culture system for testing live blood vessels under varying loading conditions. In addition, testing was completed to observe the vascular geometrical changes and variation in cellular proliferation rates for porcine common carotid arteries subjected to twenty degrees of cyclic torsion and physiological blood pressure levels during a three day culture period as compared to fresh and control samples.

The results of the testing demonstrated that there was insignificant change in lumen diameter and wall thickness between fresh and three-day cultured common carotid arteries. In addition, results revealed that an increased cellular proliferation occurred between twisted samples and control samples tested inside the organ culture system. The developed organ culture system has demonstrated its efficiency on quantifying the correlation between the mechanical loadings and vascular response. Significant insights have been gained during the design, construction and testing phases of the organ culture system, which allow for a vast array of future applications, such as improving the understanding of medical device induced vessel response and the mechanism of vascular diseases.

Advisor: Linxia Gu