Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Anatomy and Cell Biology


Dr. Kem Rogers

Second Advisor

Dr. Derek Boughner


A demand exists to bioengineer an aortic valve replacement in order to overcome the obstacles associated with current valve replacements. Tissue engineering may provide an alternative living valve replacement which demonstrates growth and repair capabilities. The aortic valve contains three functionally and structurally unique layers - the fibrosa, the spongiosa and the ventricularis. The middle spongiosa layer consists mainly of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), which absorb shock and resist compression forces between the two outer layers of the valve. In order to construct a spongiosa-like layer, Matrigel-cell-scaffold-composites (MCSCs) were assembled by applying a mixture of Matrigel, porcine radial artery cells and endothelial growth media onto small intestinal submucosa. Static MCSCs demonstrated growth, glycosaminoglycan production, cell phenotype plasticity, and extracellular matrix remodeling with potential resemblance to the aortic valve spongiosa. These results indicate that MCSCs may act as an appropriate spongiosa-like foundation that could contribute to the completion of an autologous heart valve.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.