Ali Behrangzade 

Ali Behrangzade

Faculty Mentor: Jonathan Vande Geest


Mr. Behrangzade's research is related to functional tissue-engineered vascular grafts (TEVGs) that will be used in coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. Coronary artery disease (CAD) occurs in 32.2% of males and 18.8% of females over the age of 80 and most of these patients require CABG surgery. Since current alternatives for autologous vessels lead to failure of the grafts via intimal hyperplasia – thickening of the inner layer of a blood vessel - and graft thrombosis, a functional TEVG is required for CABG surgery. A functional TEVG should display appropriate mechanical properties, anti-thrombogenicity, immunocompatibility, and vasoreactivity. An electrospun compliance-matched tissue-engineered vascular graft has been developed at Soft Tissue Biomechanics Laboratory which has also shown appropriate biocompatibility. As part of this project, Mr. Behrangzade is studying vasoactivity - the oscillation of vascular tone - of these vascular grafts which is a necessary feature of a functional TEVG. Vasoactivity of a blood vessel contributes to the regulation of blood pressure by contraction/dilation of the vessel. Since smooth muscle cells (SMCs) play the key role in vasoconstriction/vasodilation, he is investigating the responsiveness of the SMC-seeded vascular graft to different chemical stimuli.

The electrospun SMC-seeded constructs will be placed in a bioreactor and certain drugs and agonists will be delivered to the bath. Since voltage-gated (depolarization) and ligand-gated calcium channels (VGCC and LGCC, respectively) play a major role in smooth muscle cell contraction/relaxation process, three different stimuli were chosen which activate these two types of calcium ion channels. Potassium chloride causes smooth muscle cell membrane depolarization and therefore allow calcium ion entrance via VGCCs. Phenylephrine binds to alpha-1 receptors on the SMCs’ membrane and increases the availability of calcium ion for vasoconstriction. Isoproterenol binds to beta receptors which are coupled with Gs protein and can increase Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and consequently results in vasodilation. The ultimate goal of this research is to provide a functional TEVG as a reliable alternative for autologous vessels for CABG surgery which leads to less failure and can benefit patients and the healthcare system.


  • A. Behrangzade, MM. Heyhat. “The effect of using nano-silver dispersed water based nanofluid as a passive method for energy efficiency enhancement in a plate heat exchanger”. Applied Thermal Engineering, 2016.
  • E. Pourfarzad, K. Ghadiri, A. Behrangzade, M. Ashjaee. “Experimental investigation of heat transfer and pressure drop of alumina-water nanofluid in a porous miniature heat sink”. Experimental Heat Transfer, 2018.
  • E. Pourfarzad, A. Behrangzade, E. Houshfar, M. Ashjaee. “Thermal and fluid-flow characteristics of silver-water nanofluid in a metal-foam filled channel”. Heat Transfer Engineering, 2020.  
  • A. Behrangzade, J.P. Vande Geest. “Fluid flow through a porohyperelastic bilayered tissue engineered vascular graft: A sensitivity study”. Summer Biomechanics, Bioengineering, and Biotransport Conference, 2020.
  • K.J. Furdella, S. Higuchi, A. Behrangzade, K. Kim, W.R. Wagner, J.P. Vande Geest. “In-Vivo Assessment of a Tissue Engineered Vascular Graft Computationally Optimized for Target Vessel Compliance”. Acta Biomaterialia, 2021.