Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor's Name

Eric T. Crumpler

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

James E. Moore

Third Advisor's Name

Richard T. Schoephoerster

Date of Defense



Characterizing engineered human lung tissue is an important step in developing a functional tissue replacement for lung tissue repair and in vitro analysis. Small tissue constructs were grown by seeding IMR-90 fetal lung fibroblasts and adult microvascular endothelial cells onto a Polyglycolic acid (PGA) polymer template. Introducing the constructs to dynamic culture conditions inside a bioreactor facilitated three-dimensional growth seen in scanning electron microscopy images (SEM).

Characterization of the resultant tissue samples was done using SEM imagery, tensile tests, and biochemical assays to quantify extra-cellular matrix (ECM) composition. Tensile tests of the engineered samples indicated an increase in the mechanical properties when compared with blank constructs. Elastin and collagen content was found to average 3.19% and 15.49% respectively in relation to total mass of the tissue samples. The presence of elastin and collagen within the constructs most likely explains the mechanical differences that we noted.

These findings suggest that the necessary ECM can be established in engineered tissue constructs and that optimization of this procedure has the capacity to generate the load bearing elements required for construction of a functional lung tissue equivalent.





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