Peristaltic pumps adapted for laminar flow experiments enhance in vitro modeling of vascular cell behavior

Javier Abello, Shreya Raghavan, Yvette Y. Yien, Amber N. Stratman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Endothelial cells (ECs) are the primary cellular constituent of blood vessels that are in direct contact with hemodynamic forces over their lifetime. Throughout the body, vessels experience different blood flow patterns and rates that alter vascular architecture and cellular behavior. Because of the complexities of studying blood flow in an intact organism, particularly during development, the field has increasingly relied on in vitro modeling of blood flow as a powerful technique for studying hemodynamic-dependent signaling mechanisms in ECs. While commercial flow systems that recirculate fluids exist, many commercially available pumps are peristaltic and best model pulsatile flow conditions. However, there are many important situations in which ECs experience laminar flow conditions in vivo, such as along long straight stretches of the vasculature. To understand EC function under these contexts, it is important to be able to reproducibly model laminar flow conditions in vitro. Here, we outline a method to reliably adapt commercially available peristaltic pumps to study laminar flow conditions. Our proof-of-concept study focuses on 2D models but could be further adapted to 3D environments to better model in vivo scenarios, such as organ development. Our studies make significant inroads into solving technical challenges associated with flow modeling and allow us to conduct functional studies toward understanding the mechanistic role of shear forces on vascular architecture, cellular behavior, and remodeling in diverse physiological contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102404
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • endothelial cells
  • in vitro modeling
  • laminar flow
  • pulsatile flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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