Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Jaime Ramirez-Vick (Committee Member), Philippe Sucosky (Advisor), Zifeng Yang (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)


Blood vessels experience complex hemodynamics marked by three-dimensionality and pulsatility. Arterial endothelial cells interact with the characteristics of the fluid wall shear stress (WSS) to maintain homeostasis or promote disease states. In particular, the bicuspid aortic valve (BAV), a congenital heart valve anatomy consisting of two leaflets instead of three, is associated with aortic complications presumably promoted by hemodynamic abnormalities. While devices have been used to test this hypothesis, their capabilities are limited to the generation of time-varying WSS magnitude in one direction. However, the increased flow helicity generated by BAVs in the aorta is expected to result in increased WSS multidirectionality. Therefore, the objectives of this thesis were to characterize the magnitude and directionality of the regional WSS in a BAV aorta, and to design a bioreactor capable of replicating these characteristics in vitro. This device will provide new insights into the mechanobiology of BAV aortopathy and other flow-mediated cardiovascular diseases.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Year Degree Awarded