Skip to Main Content
Investigators use bioreactors to grow tissues on three-dimensional scaffolds because bioreactors provide dynamic conditions that are more suitable for cell growth and proliferation than static culture. Recently, bioreactors have been developed that more closely resemble human physiological conditions. It is thought that the cells in culture will respond positively to conditions that mimic the natural tissue environment producing replacement tissues that are structurally and functionally similar to the original tissues. This report describes a pulsatile flow, two-valve bioreactor system which mimics the left half of the human heart to condition and test tissue engineered heart valves before pre-clinical and clinical trials. Test results will be based on data from flow meters and pressure sensors. The system makes use of a removable valve chamber that will allow investigators to use the bulk of the system for valves of different sizes. The system fits into standard CO2 incubators so that monitoring and maintaining optimum tissue culture conditions is unnecessary. The system is modular so that the media will remain sterile while still allowing individual components, such as the valve chamber, to be removed and opened in a tissue culture hood without exposing the whole system to contaminants.