Assessing Endothelial Cell Behavior in an in vitro PEG-DA Hydrogel Cell Culture Assay of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis / The Struggle to Diminish Inequities in the U.S. Healthcare System

Tavakol, Tara, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Peirce-Cottler, Shayn, MD-BIOM Biomedical Eng, University of Virginia
Norton, Peter, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) is a rare and fatal lung disease of poorly understood etiology. When mechanical and biochemical triggers change cell microvasculature, IPF may follow. To help researchers improve IPF treatment, the project team studied this mechanism. With an established hydrogel endothelial and pericyte cell culture assay with tunable stiffnesses, we examined the effects of mechanical stiffness along with VEGF or PDGF+FGF on cell viability and morphology. To diminish racial inequities in healthcare in the United States, advocacies, health professionals, philanthropies, and others publicize the problem and demand policy reform. While social justice advocacies, public health professionals, and medical professionals generally agree that racial and other inequities pervade the U.S. healthcare system, they disagree about the best means of redressing them. Some maintain that incremental reform can make the current system sufficiently equitable; others, however, contend that the system in itself perpetuates historical inequities, and must be reconstructed.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
IPF, Healthcare Inequities
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