Vascular Tissue Engineering
Research in vascular biology and vascular tissue engineering is represented by a multidisciplinary group of materials scientists, biomedical and tissue engineers, chemists, physiologists, dentists, and physicians. Faculty projects include the following research: vascular stents and grafts, non-invasive and non-destructive evaluation of engineered tissues, natural, protein-based biomaterials, the role of cytoskeletal structures on vascular cell functions, and tissue engineered vascular construct.
To understand the mechanisms of vascular healing responses, we utilize in vitro cell culture systems and animal models to identify key hemostatic mechanisms, blood component interactions with natural and synthetic surfaces, and the effects of blood-flow on vascular cell functions. The relationships between strains, extracellular matrix scaffolds, and vascular cell functions are a focus of our research. In understanding of the effects of biomechanics on vascular cell function, we will improve cell engraftment and retention on vascular grafts. Our ultimate goal is to develop more effective anti-thrombotic and anti-arteriosclerotic therapies, and to improve the performance of prosthetic cardiovascular devices.