Numerical fluid-dynamic optimization of microchannel-provided porous scaffolds for the co-culture of adherent and non-adherent cells

Cantini, M. , Fiore, G. B., Redaelli, A. and Soncini, M. (2008) Numerical fluid-dynamic optimization of microchannel-provided porous scaffolds for the co-culture of adherent and non-adherent cells. Tissue Engineering Part A, 15(3), pp. 615-623. (doi: 10.1089/ten.tea.2008.0027)

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Computational fluid dynamic (CFD) techniques were used to optimize the microenvironment inside scaffolds for hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) culture in a perfusion bioreactor. These matrices are meant to be seeded with adherent bone marrow stromal cells and then co-cultivated with HSCs; the scaffold micro-architecture and the fluid-dynamic conditions have to be optimized to avoid non-adherent stem cells being dragged away while ensuring adequate nutrient supply. The insertion of longitudinal microchannels was tested as a tool to improve perfusion in a homogeneous porous scaffold. Models of microchannel-provided scaffolds, characterized by different values of geometric parameters concerning pores and channels, were built, and numerical fluid-dynamic and oxygen-transfer analyses were carried out. The results of the computations indicated that the microchannels created preferential paths for culture medium flow, causing low shear stresses and drag forces within the pores; meanwhile, they improved oxygen delivery by forcing its penetration into the scaffold bulk. In particular, an 85% porous, 3-mm-thick scaffold with 175-μm-diameter pores was considered; at a constant average drag force guaranteeing stem cell suspension inside this porous bulk, the addition of approximately 260-μm-diameter, 700-μm-spaced channels resulted in 34% higher oxygen partial pressure at the exit (∼135 vs 101 mmHg), maintaining a wall shear stress median value of approximately 0.14 mPa. The present work demonstrates the capacity of microchannel-provided scaffolds to ensure suitable conditions for HSC culture and shows that CFD methods are a valuable tool to retrieve significant clues for the design of the culture environment.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cantini, Dr Marco
Authors: Cantini, M., Fiore, G. B., Redaelli, A., and Soncini, M.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Biomedical Engineering
Journal Name:Tissue Engineering Part A
Publisher:Mary Ann Liebert
ISSN (Online):1937-335X
Published Online:03 September 2008

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