Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering

, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 273–280 | Cite as

Bioreactor cultivation of three-dimensional cartilage-carrier-constructs

  • Stephanie Nagel-Heyer
  • Christiane Goepfert
  • Frank Feyerabend
  • Jan Philipp Petersen
  • Peter Adamietz
  • Norbert M. Meenen
  • Ralf PörtnerEmail author
Original papers


A flow-chamber bioreactor was designed for generation of three-dimensional cartilage-carrier-constructs. A specific attribute of the flow-chamber is a very thin medium layer for improved oxygen supply and a counter current flow of medium and gas. Three-dimensional cartilage-carrier-constructs were produced according to a standard protocol from chondrocytes of an adult mini-pig. The final step of this protocol was performed either in the bioreactor or in 12-well plates. The bioreactor experiments showed a significantly higher matrix thickness but a lower ratio of glycosaminoglycan to DNA. For both culture methods the constructs contained a high amount of collagen II. Appearance of the cartilage obtained in the bioreactor seemed to be closer to native cartilage with respect to distribution of the cells within the matrix, smoothness of the surface etc. All results considered the flow-chamber bioreactor is a very useful tool for generation of three dimensional cartilage-carrier constructs.


Bioreactor Cartilage tissue engineering Chondrocytes Flow-chamber Immunohistology 



The financial support of Biomet Deutschland GmbH, Darmstadt, Germany under the BMBF-grant No. 03N4012 is gratefully acknowledged. Furthermore we thank Katharina Braun, Ditte Siemesgelüss for their excellent technical support as well as Prof. Dr. Michael Morlock for his advice in statistical analysis.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephanie Nagel-Heyer
    • 1
  • Christiane Goepfert
    • 1
  • Frank Feyerabend
    • 2
  • Jan Philipp Petersen
    • 3
  • Peter Adamietz
    • 2
  • Norbert M. Meenen
    • 3
  • Ralf Pörtner
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Bioprozess- und BioverfahrenstechnikTechnische Universität Hamburg-HarburgHamburgGermany
  2. 2.Institut für Biochemie und Molekularbiologie IIUniversitätsklinikum EppendorfHamburgGermany
  3. 3.Unfall-, Hand- und WiederherstellungschirurgieUniversitätsklinikum EppendorfHamburgGermany

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