Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Biomedical Engineering

Committee Member

Esra Roan

Committee Member

Amy de Jongh Curry

Committee Member

Christopher Waters


Acute respiratory distress syndrome patients are usually administered high levels of oxygen and then mechanical ventilation. The combination of these is thought to cause worse lung injury than either alone through biophysical mechanisms partly involving overdistension. The basis of this thesis is that injury may be associated with degradation of hyaluronan, a key component of the exracellular matrix having compressive resistance. Although hyaluronan is known to degrade directly by reactive oxygen species or by hyaluronidase, it is possible to measure the contribution of hyaluronan degradation in lung structure. Molecular weight measurements were used to confirm hyaluronan degradation, while nano indentation of commercially available hyaluronan hydrogel was used to measure the stiffness changes due to degradation. Bacterial hyaluronan degradedwith hydrogen peroxide and hyaluronidase; both treatments led to changes in the stiffness of the hydrogel. In summary, this hydrogel may serve as an in vitro model of hyaluronan degradation in the lungs.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.