Publication Date



Open access

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Biomedical Engineering (Engineering)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Fotios M. Andreopoulos

Second Committee Member

Si M. Pham

Third Committee Member

Weiyong Gu

Fourth Committee Member

Herman Cheung

Fifth Committee Member

Cherie Stabler


Peripheral vascular diseases such as peripheral artery disease (PAD) and critical limb ischemia (CLI) are growing at an ever-increasing rate in the Western world due to an aging population and the incidence of type II diabetes. A growing economic burden continues because these diseases are common indicators of future heart attack or stroke. Common therapies are generally limited to pharmacologic agents or endovascular therapies which have had mixed results still ending in necrosis or limb loss. Therapeutic angiogenic strategies have become welcome options for patients suffering from PAD due to the restoration of blood flow in the extremities. Capillary sprouting and a return to normoxic tissue states are also demonstrated by the use of angiogenic cytokines in conjunction with bone marrow cell populations. To this point, it has been determined that spatial and temporal controlled release of growth factors from vehicles provides a greater therapeutic and angiogenic effect than growth factors delivered intramuscularly, intravenously, or intraarterialy due to rapid metabolization of the cytokine, and non-targeted release. Furthermore, bone marrow cells have been implicated to enhance angiogenesis in numerous ischemic diseases due to their ability to secrete angiogenic cytokines and their numerous cell fractions present which are implicated to promote mature vessel formation. Use of angiogenic peptides, in conjunction with bone marrow cells, has been hypothesized in EPC mobilization from the periphery and marrow tissues to facilitate neovessel formation. For this purpose, controlled release of angiogenic peptides basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2) and granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) was performed using tunable ionic gelatin hydrogels or fibrin scaffolds with ionic albumin microspheres. The proliferation of endothelial cell culture was determined to have an enhanced effect based on altering concentrations of growth factors and method of release: co-delivery versus sequential. Scaffolds with these angiogenic peptides were implanted in young balb/c mice that underwent unilateral hindlimb ischemia by ligation and excision of the femoral artery. Endpoints for hindlimb reperfusion and angiogenesis were determined by Laser Doppler Perfusion Imaging and immunohistochemical staining for capillaries (CD-31) and smooth muscle cells (alpha-SMA). In addition to controlled release of angiogenic peptides, further studies combined the use of a fibrin co-delivery scaffold with FGF-2 and G-CSF with bone marrow stem cell transplantation to enhance vessel formation following CLI. Endpoints also included lipophilic vascular painting to evaluate the extent of angiogenesis and arteriogenesis in an ischemic hindlimb. Tissue engineering strategies utilizing bone marrow cells and angiogenic peptides demonstrate improved hindlimb blood flow compared to BM cells or cytokines alone, as well as enhanced angiogenesis based on immunohistochemical staining and vessel densities.


Critical Limb Ischemia; Peripheral Artery Disease; Microsphere; Albumin; Fibrin; Gelatin; G-CSF; BFGF; Bone Marrow Cells; Angiogenesis; Biomaterial; Controlled Release