A comparative study of oxygen diffusion in tissue engineering scaffolds
Tissue engineering scaffolds are designed to support tissue self-healing within physiological environments by promoting the attachment, growth and differentiation of relevant cells. Newly formed tissue must be supplied with sufficient levels of oxygen to prevent necrosis. Oxygen diffusion is the major transport mechanism before vascularization is completed and oxygen is predominantly supplied via blood vessels. The present study compares different designs for scaffolds in the context of their oxygen diffusion ability. In all cases, oxygen diffusion is confined to the scaffold pores that are assumed to be completely occupied by newly formed tissue. The solid phase of the scaffolds acts as diffusion barrier that locally inhibits oxygen diffusion, i.e. no oxygen passes through the scaffold material. As a result, the oxygen diffusivity is determined by the scaffold porosity and pore architecture. Lattice Monte Carlo simulations are performed to compare the normalized oxygen diffusivities in scaffolds obtained by the foam replication (FR) method, robocasting and sol–gel foaming. Scaffolds made by the FR method were found to have the highest oxygen diffusivity due to their high porosity and interconnected pores. These structures enable the best oxygen supply for newly formed tissue among the scaffold types considered according to the present numerical predictions.
KeywordsOxygen Diffusion Bioactive Glass Tissue Engineering Scaffold Strut Thickness Tissue Phase
The authors Dr Fiedler, Prof. Murch and Prof. Boccaccini want to acknowledge financial support by the Australian Research Council (ARC) in the framework of the Discovery Project DP130101377.
- 3.Ratner BD, Hoffman AS, Schoen FJ, Lemons JE. Biomaterials science: an introduction to materials in medicine. Amsterdam: Academic Press; 2004.Google Scholar
- 5.Karande TS. Effect of scaffold architecture on diffusion of oxygen in tissue engineering constructs. Ph.D. thesis, The University of Texas at Austin; 2007.Google Scholar
- 13.Fiedler T, Murch GE, Belova IV. Solving complex thermal and mass transport problems with the Lattice Monte Carlo method. Cairns, QLD; 2010. p. 1476–81.Google Scholar
- 20.Longmuir IS, Bourke A. The measurement of the diffusion of oxygen through respiring tissue. Biochem J. 1960;76(2):225–9.Google Scholar
- 26.German RM. Particle packing characteristics. Princeton: Metal Powder Industries Federation; 1989.Google Scholar