The Influence of Bioreactor Geometry and the Mechanical Environment on Engineered Tissues

J. M. Osborne, R. D. O’Dea, J. P. Whiteley, H. M. Byrne, S. L. Waters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


A three phase model for the growth of a tissue construct within a perfusion bioreactor is examined. The cell population (and attendant extracellular matrix), culture medium, and porous scaffold are treated as distinct phases. The bioreactor system is represented by a two-dimensional channel containing a cell-seeded rigid porous scaffold (tissue construct), which is perfused with a culture medium. Through the prescription of appropriate functional forms for cell proliferation and extracellular matrix deposition rates, the model is used to compare the influence of cell density-, pressure-, and culture medium shear stress-regulated growth on the composition of the engineered tissue. The governing equations are derived in O'Dea et al. "A Three Phase Model for Tissue Construct Growth in a Perfusion Bioreactor," Math. Med. Biol., in which the long-wavelength limit was exploited to aid analysis; here, finite element methods are used to construct two-dimensional solutions to the governing equations and to investigate thoroughly their behavior. Comparison of the total tissue yield and averaged pressures, velocities, and shear stress demonstrates that quantitative agreement between the two-dimensional and long-wavelength approximation solutions is obtained for channel aspect ratios of order 10 -2 and that much of the qualitative behavior of the model is captured in the long-wavelength limit, even for relatively large channel aspect ratios. However, we demonstrate that in order to capture accurately the effect of mechanotransduction mechanisms on tissue construct growth, spatial effects in at least two dimensions must be included due to the inherent spatial variation of mechanical stimuli relevant to perfusion bioreactors, most notably, fluid shear stress, a feature not captured in the long-wavelength limit. Copyright © 2010 by ASME.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Biomechanical Engineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 25 2010
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KUK-C1-013-04
Acknowledgements: J.M.O. is supported by the EPSRC/BBSRC funded OCISB Project No. BB/D020190/1, and much of this work was undertaken while funded under a LSI DTC studentship. R.D.O. is supported by an EPSRC Ph.D. studentship. J.P.W. is supported by Award No. KUK-C1-013-04, made by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). S.L.W. gratefully acknowledges funding from the EPSRC in the form of an Advanced Research Fellowship.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


Dive into the research topics of 'The Influence of Bioreactor Geometry and the Mechanical Environment on Engineered Tissues'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this