Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: Biomedical Engineering
Frewoin Berga - University of Washington
Infective endocarditis (IE) is a life-threatening bacterial infection of the heart valve caused by Streptococcus bacteria. Infective endocarditis is a challenging disease to treat because of the increased resistance of the bacteria to the high-shear environment in the endocardium. Patients with this disease develop several complications even after therapy. It is hypothesized that the bacterium attaches to the injured site of the heart valves via the hitchhiker binding strategy. However, the interaction between the bacteria and platelets is unknown. To explicitly mimic what happens in vivo, a humanized in vitro model was designed to understand the initial stage of the disease. The model was made of PDMS. Our results support that the theoretical model is accurate for endocarditis research. The prototype is expected to produce a shear value very close to the one in the human heart, about 20 – 80 dyn/cm2. Future work involves culturing the tissue-engineered microfluidic device with human umbilical vein endothelial cells and measuring shear in the device at a flow rate of 0.9 ml/min. The number of bacteria that adhere to the endocardium wall will be analyzed. Based on the findings of this research, it will be possible to make treatments and therapeutics more effective against infective endocarditis.Abstract_Frewoin Berga.docx
Funder Acknowledgement(s): The NIH for the following grant: University of Washington GenOM Project (NIH 5R25HG007153-05) The Thomas lab at the University of Washington
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Wendy Thomas, email@example.com
Role: My part of this project was designing the PDMS humanized model that had six chambers and experimenting on it using beads.