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Marascalco, Philip Justin (2008) APPLICATIONS AND MECHANISMS OF INTRAVASCULAR DRAG REDUCING POLYMERS. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Blood soluble drag reducing polymers (DRPs) represent a potential novel treatment of hypoperfusion and other disorders. Injections of these high molecular weight viscoelastic molecules into the blood of experimental animals at sub-nanomolar concentrations were shown to increase cardiac output with no changes in blood pressure (a reduction of vascular resistance) and enhance tissue perfusion and oxygenation. The DRP intravascular phenomena have been successfully utilized in animal models of various pathologies including hemorrhagic shock, hypobaric hypoxia, coronary stenosis, and diabetes. Chronic injections of DRPs demonstrated the reduction/prevention of atherosclerosis. Two reported potential mechanisms behind the DRP intravascular effects were a decrease in flow separations at vascular bifurcations and a reduction/elimination of the Fåhraeus effect (cell-free plasma layer existing in the near-vessel-wall space) in microvessels. The latter effect may enhance blood transport efficiency and selectively implement an increased shear stress on the endothelial cells in microvessels.This work was aimed to expand the knowledge on the mechanisms behind the phenomenological effects of DRPs in the cardiovascular system and to study new biomedical applications.A rodent model of chemically-induced diabetes illustrated the potential utility of DRPs for the improvement of microcirculation impaired by disease development and implicated as an etiology of its complications. Additional rodent experiments tested and proved the absence of acute and chronic deleterious effects of hemodynamically effective concentrations of DRPs on hematological, serum chemistry, blood gas and blood coagulation parameters. Further experiments were performed to determine the DRP concentration thresholds which could be safely used intravenously.A hypothesis that DRPs affect RBC deformability was tested using bulk blood filtration and viscoelastometry techniques. The filterability of RBC suspensions with DRPs was found to be slightly increased reflecting a potential increase in RBC deformability. It was also shown that DRPs slightly decreased RBC viscoelasticity which was increased due to diabetes in rodents which also reflects a potential increase in RBC deformability.Finally, DRPs were explored in tissue engineering, demonstrating that this new microhemodynamic phenomena could be employed to retard the inflammatory response to implanted biodegradable synthetic scaffolds. This resulted in enhanced collagen structure and production in tissues that replaced the scaffold material.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Marascalco, Philip
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee Chair Kameneva, Marina Vkamenevamv@upmc.eduMARINA
Committee MemberBlair, Harry Chcblair@pitt.eduHCBLAIR
Committee MemberBorovetz, Harvey Sborovetzhs@upmc.eduBOROVETZ
Committee MemberAntaki, James Fantakij@pitt.eduANTAKIJ
Committee MemberKoepsel, Richard Rrrk1@pitt.eduRRK1
Date: 8 September 2008
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 10 April 2008
Approval Date: 8 September 2008
Submission Date: 16 July 2008
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Bioengineering
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: blood viscoelasticity; granulomatous inflammation; microcirculation; polymeric porous scaffold; tissue regeneration; animal model of diabetes; drag reducing polymer
Other ID:, etd-07162008-003538
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:51
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2016 14:36


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