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Blood vessel-on-a-chip examines biomechanics of microvasculature



Paul Salipante, Steven D. Hudson, Styliani Alimperti


We use a three-dimensional (3D) microvascular platform to measure the elasticity and membrane permeability of the endothelial cell layer. The microfluidic platform is connected with a pneumatic pressure controller to apply hydrostatic pressure. The deformation is measured by tracking the mean vessel diameter under varying pressures up to 300 Pa. We obtain a value for the Young's modulus of the cell layer in low strain where a linear elastic response is observed and use a hyperelastic model that describes the strain hardening observed at larger strains (pressure). A fluorescent dye is used to track the flow through the cell layer to determine the membrane flow resistance as a function of applied pressure. Finally, we track the 3D positions of cell nuclei while the vessel is pressurized to observe local deformation and correlate inter-cell deformation with the local structure of the cell layer. This approach is able to probe the mechanical properties of blood vessels in vitro and provides a methodology for investigating microvascular related diseases.
Soft Matter


Blood Vessel, Biomechanics, Elasticity, Microfluidics


Salipante, P. , Hudson, S. and Alimperti, S. (2021), Blood vessel-on-a-chip examines biomechanics of microvasculature, Soft Matter, [online], , (Accessed February 26, 2024)
Created November 15, 2021, Updated November 29, 2022