Development of a vascular cell laden construct : towards an artificial artery

Rights statement
Awarding institution
  • University of Strathclyde
Date of award
  • 2017
Thesis identifier
  • T14847
Person Identifier (Local)
  • 201657308
Qualification Level
Qualification Name
Department, School or Faculty
  • Development of readily available vasculature and small diameter vessels remains a key challenge in tissue engineering. In recent years, a range of 3D biofabrication methods have been developed to create tubular cell-laden hydrogel structures that attempt to mimic key features of native mammalian vessels. The technique of rapid casting via subtractive methods is a particularly promising approach, as it enables the easy fabrication of such constructs without the need for the use of complex equipment. However, this method remains to be fully characterised before its potential for use in the development of tissue-engineered vasculature can be assessed. In this study various combinations of alginate and gelatin concentrations were explored in order to fabricate tubular constructs that mimic vessels via the rapid casting fabrication method. The dimensions of the resultant constructs were measured to provide an indication of the repeatability of the fabrication method and to identify the optimal fabrication conditions. The impact of immersion in physiological solution on these dimensions was then assessed. Finally, those scaffolds that were shown to be stable, and which could support flow within an in vitro perfusion system, were taken forward for assessment for preliminary investigation of their mechanical properties and their biocompatibility with endothelial cells. The rapid casting fabrication method was shown to be capable of producing artery mimics of consistent length with a range of lumen sizes (0.7 – 4.36mm). Using the same method, it was achievable to decrease the wall thickness of vessels by reducing the gel dipping from 3 sec to 1 sec. Although tubular structures could be produced, the gels showed a low capacity to maintain cell viability in comparison to a conventional tissue culture method. The study results indicate that alginate-gelatin tubular constructs with controllable dimensions and stability can be reliably produced via a simple rapid casting method. With further optimization, this technique may represent a useful alternative to more complex methods for fabrication of artificial arteries.
Advisor / supervisor
  • McCormick, Christopher
Resource Type
  • Previously held under moratorium from 23 May 2018 until 16 February 2022
Date Created
  • 2017
Former identifier
  • 9912597991402996