Design of a Modular Bioreactor to Incorporate Both Perfusion Flow and Hydrostatic Compression for Tissue Engineering Applications
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Physiological models have demonstrated that cells undergo a cyclic regimen of hydrostatic compression and fluid shear stress within the lacunar-canalicular porosity of bone. A new modular bioreactor was designed to incorporate both perfusion fluid flow and hydrostatic compression in an effort to more accurately simulate the mechanical loading and stress found in natural bone in vivo. The bioreactor design incorporated custom and off-the-shelf components to produce levels of mechanical stimuli relevant to the physiologic range, including hydrostatic compression exceeding 300 kPa and perfusion shear stress of 0.7 dyne/cm2. Preliminary findings indicated that the novel system facilitated the viable growth of cells on discrete tissue engineering scaffolds. The bioreactor has established an experimental platform for ongoing investigation of the interactive effect of perfusion fluid flow and hydrostatic compression on multiple cell types.