To date, one approach to tissue engineering has been to develop in vitro conditions to ultimately fabricate functional cardiovascular structures prior to final implantation. In our current experiment, we developed a new pulsatile flow system that provides biochemical and biomechanical signals to regulate autologous patch-tissue development in vitro. The newly developed patch bioreactor is made of Plexiglas and is completely transparent (Mediport Kardiotechnik, Berlin). The bioreactor is connected to an air-driven respirator pump, and the cell culture medium continuously circulates through a closed-loop system. We thus developed a closed-loop, perfused bioreactor for long-term patch-tissue conditioning, which combines continuous, pulsatile perfusion and mechanical stimulation by periodically stretching the tissue-engineered patch constructs. By adjusting the stroke volume, the stroke rate, and the inspiration/expiration time of the ventilator, it allows various pulsatile flows and different levels of pressure. The whole system is a highly isolated cell culture setting, which provides a high level of sterility, gas supply, and fits into a standard humidified incubator. The bioreactor can be sterilized by ethylene oxide and assembled with a standard screwdriver. Our newly developed bioreactor provides optimal biomechanical and biodynamical stimuli for controlled tissue development and in vitro conditioning of an autologous tissue-engineered patch.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering