Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Hendrix, C. LaShan

Committee Member

Jaffe, Michael

Committee Member

To, Filip Suminto

Committee Member

Elder, Steven H.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Biomedical Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering


Cardiovascular disease is a significant health crisis, representing 32% of deaths worldwide in 2019. Vascular calcification (VC), a major contributor to cardiovascular disease, is a regulated biomineralization process whose exact mechanisms are unknown. Additionally, vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) significantly contribute to VC by undergoing a phenotypic switch and differentiating into osteoblast-like cells. When factors like hypertension cause disturbed laminar flow in the body’s vasculature, the mechanical stress promotes the phenotypic switch and calcification of VSMCs via mechanotransduction. VC is also induced by the Wnt pathway, which is activated via mineral imbalance and mechanical stimulation. However, the exact mechanisms behind mechanotransduction in relation to VC, Wnt, and VSMC differentiation are unknown. If uncovered, knowledge of the mechanisms may be used to create effective treatments for VC.