Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor's Name

Sharan Ramaswamy

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Jessica Ramella-Roman

Second Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Wei-Chiang Lin

Third Advisor's Committee Title

committee member


heart valve, tissue engineering, bone marrow stem cells, actin filaments, balloon valvuloplasty, oscillatory shear stress, flow, valvular endothelial cells, fibrosa

Date of Defense



Heart valve disease (HVD) or a damaged valve can severely compromise the heart's ability to pump efficiently. Balloon valvuloplasty is preferred on neonates with aortic valve stenosis. Even though this procedure decreases the gradient pressure across the aortic valve, restenosis is observed soon after balloon intervention. Tissue engineering heart valves (TEHV), using bone marrow stem cells (BMSCs) and biodegradable scaffolds, have been investigated as an alternative to current non-viable prosthesis. By observing the changes in hemodynamics following balloon aortic valvuloplasty, we could uncover a potential cause for rapid restenosis after balloon intervention. Subsequently, a tissue engineering treatment strategy based on BMSC mechanobiology could be defined. Understanding and identifying the mechanisms by which cytoskeletal changes may lead to cellular differentiation of a valvular phenotype is a first critical step in enhancing the promotion of a robust valvular phenotype from BMSCs.





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