August 2011

Document Type


Degree Name



Dept. of Biomedical Engineering


Oregon Health & Science University


There is a significant need for viable small diameter vascular graft biomaterials. Treatment options for bypass grafts are limited to either autologous vessels, which areoften not available and can be affected by pre-existing disease, or synthetic grafts, whichare limited to vessels larger than 6 mm in diameter. Small diameter vascular grafts havebeen under development for more than 50 years with limited clinical success. Vascular grafts often fail due to thrombosis, intimal hyperplasia, and aneurysm formation. This dissertation centers on the influence of the extracellular matrix (ECM) on vascularfunctional responses. The ECM is the primary support for the vascular endothelium and can influence apoptosis, proliferation, cell shape and contractility. Novel human recombinant tropoelastin vascular graft biomaterials and ECM modified clinically relevant synthetic ePTFE vascular grafts were developed and evaluated. Vascular biomaterials are needed that support cell growth, are non-thromb




School of Medicine



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