Manufacturing and Mechanical Testing of Biochemically Stimulated Tissue-Engineered Blood Vessel Constructs
Chaudhury, Rafeed A.
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Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), and transglutaminase have been shown to induce mechanical changes within collagen-based blood vessel constructs. Recent studies have found that the mechanical properties of tissue-engineered blood vessel constructs can be improved through chemical stimulation using these agents. In this study, we use vitamin C to induce extracellular matrix collagen synthesis, and transglutaminase to crosslink collagen. These chemical agents yield increased cell growth and enhance the mechanical strength and integrity of collagen based blood vessel constructs. However, the addition of each of these agents must be balanced, as high concentrations may be toxic to the cells. Finally, we also increase cell seeding density to modulate gel compaction and speed up construct development time. We aim to define the effects of vitamin C, transglutaminase, and initial cell seeding density through mechanical testing to confirm the findings. Preliminary results indicate that TG/AA have a significant impact on tensile strength of the constructs and that varying initial cell seeding density may have a positive trend. This research aims to provide the foundation necessary for a successful attack on the Holy Grail of cardiovascular tissue engineering: creating a small-diameter blood vessel substitute.