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Technical Briefs

Bioreactor for Biaxial Mechanical Stimulation to Tissue Engineered Constructs

[+] Author and Article Information
Karin A. Wartella

Department of Biomedical Engineering and Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Orthopaedic Research Laboratory, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23284-3067

Jennifer S. Wayne1

Department of Biomedical Engineering and Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Orthopaedic Research Laboratory, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23284-3067jswayne@vcu.edu

1

Corresponding author.

J Biomech Eng 131(4), 044501 (Jan 20, 2009) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3049859 History: Received June 06, 2007; Revised October 02, 2008; Published January 20, 2009

The complex structure and properties of biological tissues as well as their in situ environment often make it difficult to self-heal. A suitable replacement tissue may be created in vitro through tissue engineering approaches and mechanical stimulation of tissue constructs. A new biaxial bioreactor was designed, constructed, and evaluated for the purposes of developing constructs with specific functional characteristics. Once constructed and assembled, the bioreactor was tested for position accuracy and application of strain. Additionally, a tissue construct was tested in the chamber and compared with a nonstimulated construct. Results showed high position accuracy, but some loss between applied strain via grip movement and strain experienced by the scaffold. The tested construct exhibited an increase in cells and matrix deposition in comparison to the nonstimulated construct. This biaxial bioreactor will be useful for mechanically stimulating tissue constructs in two perpendicular directions to create implants for tissues requiring preferred compressive and tensile resistances.

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Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Schematic of bioreactor for biaxial mechanical stimulation. The assembly parts are the base stage, tissue stimulation chamber, tension assembly, and compression assembly (see text for detailed description). All parts except the load cells and actuators were constructed from plastic material to prevent corrosion. The bioreactor had dimensions of 432 mm in length, 279 mm in width, and 343 mm in height (top). Exploded view of tissue stimulation chamber (bottom).

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Figure 2

Comparison of calculated grip-to-grip strain to peak applied strain at the inner and outer markings on the collagen scaffold. Tests 1–3 applied 1 mm, 2 mm, and 3 mm displacements, respectively. (a) No application of a static offset. (b) Application of a 1 mm static offset to the scaffold 10 min before the start of the initial test.

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Figure 3

Scanning electron micrographs (1000×) of static 21D culture construct side view cut through the middle of the construct (top left) and a mechanically stimulated construct side view cut through the middle of the construct (bottom left) (arrow indicates the direction of tension). Micrograph of scaffold alone side view cut through the middle of the scaffold (right) (250×). Circles indicate cells; arrows indicate matrix.

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Figure 4

Alcian blue staining of a static culture construct (left) and a mechanically stimulated construct (right) (20×). Scale bar reflects 100 μm. The arrow indicates the direction of tension. Circles indicate cells; arrows indicate matrix.

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