Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Raymond L. Page, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Kristen L. Billiar, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Marsha W. Rolle, Advisor




With 500,000 coronary artery bypass procedures performed each year in the United States, and only one-third of patients possessing suitable autologous grafts, there is a clinical need for tissue engineered blood vessels (TEBVs). The overall goal of this project was to develop a one- step approach to rapidly produce entirely cell- derived tubular tissue constructs without scaffold materials. To achieve this goal, we developed "centritubing"-- a system based on applying centrifugal force to suspended cells to create a tube-shaped cellular aggregate. Briefly, rat aortic smooth muscle cells were injected into cylindrical polycarbonate spinning chambers and then spun to apply centrifugal force, which pelletted the cells on the inner wall of the chamber. After three days in culture with growth medium, the cells remodeled to form tissue tubes. In previous work we have shown, in principle, that centritubing produces tubular constructs, however tissue tube production was not consistently achieved. The first objective of this study was to develop modifications to the centritubing device that would lead to consistent lumen diameter, rapid cellular aggregation into a tube construct, and an improved success rate of tube formation. The second objective was to investigate cellular parameters that contribute to tubular tissue construct formation using centritubing. Prior to changes in manufacturing of the centritubing device and culture system, the success rate of centritubing was inconsistent. After these changes, the success rate of tubular construct formation improved to 85% (11/13). Noteworthy modifications to the centritubing device included the addition of a central mandrel as a substrate for tissue contraction, development of a smoother seeding surface, and manufacture of a reusable culture chamber. The results of this study support the proof of concept for centritubing as a device for rapid production of tubular tissue constructs and provide insight for future progress using the centritubing methodology.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Biomedical Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





centrifugal force, tubular construct, TEBV, tissue engineering, self-assembly