Design and Construction of a System for the Application of Variable Pressure to Tissue Engineered Blood Vessels

  • Stefanos E. Diamantouros
  • Thomas C. Flanagan
  • Thomas Finocchiaro
  • Thomas Schmitz-Rode
  • Stefan JockenhoevelEmail author
Part of the IFMBE Proceedings book series (IFMBE, volume 22)


The field of tissue engineering offers solutions to overcome the limitations associated with current treatments for cardiovascular disease. Nevertheless, to implant safe tissue-engineered structures, suitable testing regimens for adequate clinical performance are required.

The aim of the present study was to design and construct a system for the performance of fatigue testing on cardiovascular tissue-engineered constructs under physiological pressure conditions and up to supra-physiological pulse frequencies (10 Hz).

It was hypothesized that such conditions could be achieved through the use of a linear actuator, through which pressure could be applied to the system through a silicone membrane. In order to create an identical pressure profile to physiological arterial pressure, a computer-generated signal was used as a power supply for the actuator. Different configurations were examined in order to fine-tune the equipment for a physiological pulse profile.

Physiological pressure (∼80 and 120 mmHg for diastolic and systolic phase, respectively) was achieved within the system when frequencies of 1, 2 and 5 Hz were applied. In the case of 10 Hz, only lower pulse amplitude was possible. The system modifications resulted in optimization of the pressure profiles.


Bioreactor Cardiovascular Tissue Engineering Physiological Conditions Vascular Graft 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefanos E. Diamantouros
    • 1
  • Thomas C. Flanagan
    • 1
  • Thomas Finocchiaro
    • 1
  • Thomas Schmitz-Rode
    • 1
  • Stefan Jockenhoevel
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Applied Medical Engineering, Helmholtz Institute for Biomedical EngineeringAachen UniversityAachenGermany

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