Jian Yang

Blood vessel tissue engineering using citrate elastomers (Translational Neuroimaging and Systems Neuroscience Laboratory)

Project Description: Atherosclerotic vascular disease, in the form of coronary artery and peripheral vascular (small diameter blood vessels, SDBV, 6 mm in diameter) disease remains the leading cause of mortality in the United States. Significant profess has been made in the area of in vitro tissue engineering of SDBV. To date, no tissue-engineered vascular graft has been successfully developed with satisfactory long-term patency in vivo. In this proposal, our strategy is to combine our newly developed biomaterials, specifically crosslinked urethane-doped polyesters (CUPEs) with cultured human umbilical cord blood (HUCB) derived progenitor cells to develop a tissue0engineered SDBV through a scaffold-sheet tissue engineering design. CUPEs are biodegradable, compliant, soft, and elastic biomaterials. The new scaffold-sheet tissue engineering design may facilitate assembling complex tissues through layer-by-layer assembly technology. We hypothesize that 1) the CUPE SDBV graft is architecturally similar to native blood vessels and the use of thin scaffold sheets should address the issues of uneven cell distribution, a common issue in using synthetic scaffolds for tissue engineering applications; 2) the scaffold sheet design enables us to compartmentalize multiple cell types isolated individually from HUCB; 3) the scaffold sheet vascular graft is suturable, soft, compliant, and exhibits mechanical properties similar to native blood vessels so that they may be implanted in vivo soon after cell seeding without requiring long in vitro culture time for graft maturation. The long-term goal of this proposal is to tissue engineer SDBV in vivo. The research objectives of this proposal are to synthesize a tri-phasic SDBV graft via a scaffold sheet tissue engineering design; to further elucidate cell-scaffold interactions with human umbilical cord blood cell communication, cell proliferation, cell differentiation, cell migration and extracellular matrix production for SDBV regeneration in vitro via a perfusion bioreactor and in vivo using an ovine carotid artery interposition graft implantation model.

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Summer Translational Cardiovascular Science Institute (STCSI)

Contact Information

  • Keefe Manning, Ph.D.
    Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Surgery
  • Jim Pawelczyk, Ph.D.
    Associate Professor of Physiology and Kinesiology

REU Faculty Research Projects

  • Application deadline is March 1, 2019


The Department of Biomedical Engineering administers the undergraduate major in biomedical engineering, and is a part of the university-wide Intercollege Graduate Degree Program, offering both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Bioengineering. Our work combines traditional engineering principles with medicine and technology for the betterment of human health and society. 

Department of Biomedical Engineering

122 Chemical and Biomedical Engineering Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-863-6614