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The Marquette University and Medical College of Wisconsin Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering has awarded Dr. Brandon J. Tefft a $50,000 Product Development Pilot Award for novel investigations into the endothelialization of small-caliber vascular conduits. The project, entitled, “Vascular Conduits with Optimized Local Bloodflow Patterns for Improved Endothelialization,” will investigate the effects of various patterned microchannels on the effective endothelialization of small-diameter vascular conduits. The approach is expected to have particular implications for the problem of cell detachment caused by wall-shear stress, which is thought to negatively impact the effective endothelialization of vascular conduits after intervention. In promoting effective endothelialization after intervention and reducing the potential for harmful sequelae such as thrombosis and neointimal hyperplasia, the work will benefit individuals requiring such interventions as coronary bypass, peripheral stenting, hemodialysis access, and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).
Principal Investigator, Dr. Brandon Tefft, Assistant Professor and Director of the Cardiovascular Regenerative Engineering Laboratory, also known as the CaRE Lab, specializes in cardiovascular regenerative engineering, cardiovascular device design, tissue engineered vascular grafts and heart valves, as well as biomedical nanotechnology. Collaborators on this project include co-principal investigator Dr. Alex Raskin, MD, pediatric cardiologist at Children’s Wisconsin, as well as co-investigator Dr. John LaDisa, professor of pediatrics at the Medical College of Wisconsin and secondary faculty member of the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering.