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The goal of this paper is to design and create a tissue culture perfusion bioreactor to enhance mesenchymal stem cell differentiation and cell-mediated mineralization of collagen scaffolds for bone tissue engineering. To achieve this goal, type I collagen scaffolds were tailored for optimal cell viability and mechanical integrity. The flow perfusion system, when loaded with an osteoblast seeded porous collagen-GAG scaffold is expected to increase cell mineralization as compared to static culture. Osteoblasts do not show great mineralization in static culture, therefore, by perfusing media directly through the scaffolds, thus increasing nutrient delivery to cells, cell mineralization is enhanced. The constructed perfusion system provides a natural environment for the cells to grow in, with nutrients transported to the cells via media. Future testing is possible by changing the physical makeup of the scaffold, such as porosity and tortuosity. The flow rates can also be altered to improve the system, since the optimal flow rate for this system is unknown.
Date of Conference: 17-18 April 2004