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Modeling of Cell Cultures in Perfusion Bioreactors

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3 Author(s)
Yan, X. ; Department of Mechanical Engineering , University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada ; Bergstrom, D.J. ; Chen, X.B.

Cultivating cells and tissues in bioreactors is a critical step in forming artificial tissues or organs prior to transplantation. Among various bioreactors, the perfusion bioreactor is known for its enhanced convection through the cell-scaffold constructs. Knowledge of mass transfer is essential for controlling the cell culture process; however, obtaining this information remains a challenging task. In this research, a novel mathematical model is developed to represent the nutrient transport and cell growth in a 3-D scaffold cultivated in a perfusion bioreactor. Numerical methods are employed to solve the equations involved, with a focus on identifying the effect of factors such as porosity, culturing time, and flow rate, which are controllable in the scaffold fabrication and culturing process, on cell cultures. To validate the new model, the results from the model simulations were compared to the experimental results extracted from the literature. With the validated model, further simulations were carried out to investigate the glucose and oxygen distribution and the cell growth within the cell-scaffold construct in a perfusion bioreactor, thus providing insight into the cell culture process.

Published in:

Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:59 ,  Issue: 9 )