Researcher ORCID Identifier


Date Degree Awarded

Winter 12-17-2021

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

PHD in Applied Life Sciences

First Thesis/Dissertation Advisor

Kiana Aran

Second Thesis/Dissertation Advisor

Rachita Sumbria

Third Thesis/Dissertation Advisor

Irina Conboy

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Advancements in modern medicine have greatly extended human life expectancy. However, with the onset of age-associated conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, autoimmune disorders, and certain cancers, healthy aging is becoming an increasingly pressing issue. Blood exchanges between young and old partners demonstrate old blood can cause detrimental effect to the young animal, notably on the brain tissue. However, the complexity of blood makes it difficult to identify what role the individual factors play in the aggregate observed effect. This dissertation seeks to explore the potential effects of erythrocytes on the brain as we age. Erythrocyte morphology and rigidity changes as mammals age, altering their physical dynamics as they flow within the capillary bed. This impacts downstream biological events, such as the release of reactive oxygen species and hemoglobin, potentially compromising the blood-brain barrier. This work outlines the development of the next generation of blood exchange tools to further understand the role of blood in aging. Additionally, this work aims to develop a novel blood-brain barrier, organ-on-a-chip and to test the impact of erythrocytes on the brain. In doing so, we identify erythrocytes as a critical contributor to age-associated neurological decline.

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© 2021 Payam Amiri