Faculty Advisor

Gaudette, Glenn R.


The purpose of this project was to design a scaffold to contain modified human mesenchymal stem cells, which would couple with cardiac myocytes, forming a biological pacemaking unit. The objectives of the scaffold were to prevent hMSC migration out of the scaffold, allow gap junction formation with neighboring myocytes, and protect the hMSCs from damage during and after implantation. The final design components included a stent-like structure made of Nitinol to provide structure yet remain flexible in the heart and an electrospun polyurethane sheath to encapsulate the hMSCs but still allow gap junction formation. To characterize the thickness of the polyurethane we completed a migration assay, showing an ideal thickness achieved by 45-minute spin times.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2011


Biomedical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Biomedical Engineering