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Development of a novel bioreactor to apply shear stress and tensile strain simultaneously to cell monolayers

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7 Author(s)
Breen, Liam T. ; National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science, National University of Ireland, Galway, University Road, Galway, Ireland and Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering, National University of Ireland, Galway, University Road, Galway, Ireland ; McHugh, Peter E. ; McCormack, Brendan A. ; Muir, Gordon
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To date many bioreactor experiments have investigated the cellular response to isolated in vitro forces. However, in vivo, wall shear stress (WSS) and tensile hoop strain (THS) coexist. This article describes the techniques used to build and validate a novel vascular tissue bioreactor, which is capable of applying simultaneous wall shear stress and tensile stretch to multiple cellular substrates. The bioreactor design presented here combines a cone and plate rheometer with flexible substrates. Using such a combination, the bioreactor is capable of applying a large range of pulsatile wall shear stress (-30 to +30 dyn/cm2) and tensile hoop strain (0%–12%). The WSS and THS applied to the cellular substrates were validated and calibrated. In particular, curves were produced that related the desired WSS to the bioreactor control parameters. The bioreactor was shown to be biocompatible and noncytotoxic and suitable for cellular mechanical loading studies in physiological condition, i.e., under simultaneous WSS and THS conditions.

Published in:

Review of Scientific Instruments  (Volume:77 ,  Issue: 10 )