Tissue Engineering. Part C. Methods vol:16 issue:6 pages:1553-1564
As part of a tissue engineering (TE) therapy cell-seeded scaffolds can be cultured in perfusion bioreactors in which the flow mediated wall shear stress and the nutrient transport are factors that influence in vitro proliferation and osteogenic differentiation of the seeded progenitor cells. In this study both Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations on idealised boundary conditions and circumstances and micro Particle Image Velocimetry (μ-PIV) measurements on realistic conditions were carried out to quantify the fluid dynamic microenvironment inside a bone TE construct. The results showed that differences between actual and designed geometry and time dependent character of the fluid flow caused a 19% difference in average fluid velocity and a and 27% difference in wall shear stress between simulations and measurements. The CFD simulation enabled higher resolution and 3D fluid flow quantification, that could be quantitatively compared with a μ-PIV measurement. The coupling of numerical and experimental analysis provides a reliable and high resolution bi-modular tool for quantifying the fluid dynamics that represent the basis to determine the relation between the hydrodynamic environment and cell growth and differentiation within TE scaffolds.