Honors Senior Theses/Projects

Date of Award

Winter 2020

Exit Requirement

Undergraduate Honors Thesis/Project


Honors Program

Faculty Advisor

Arlene Courtney and Michael LeMaster

Honors Program Director

Dr. Gavin Keulks


The aorta is the main vessel exiting the heart, providing oxygenated blood to the systemic circulatory system. Because of its close proximity to the heart, the aorta must withstand and absorb high pressures. Not surprisingly, one of the most common problems associated with the aorta is due to this high-pressure environment, that being an aortic aneurysm. An aortic aneurysm is a rupture in a portion of the aortic wall that can potentially lead to death. To repair an aortic aneurysm, there are two surgeries, open chest surgery and endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR), both of which insert stent grafts into the aorta to exclude the aneurysm. Complications can arise from either of these techniques or the stent graft used for repair. An autologous native vessel would be best in mimicking the native aorta, but given the current and near-future research, a biological stent graft could reduce the complications associated with the current procedures and stent grafts.



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