Bioreactor Design Optimization for Mechanical Stretch and Noninvasive Imaging.
Researchers have developed in vitro bioreactor systems that can more closely simulate
the native in vivo cell environment. These systems allow better understanding of the
complex interactions between cells and their environment, and can lead to the
development of more physiologically relevant engineered tissues. A novel bioreactor was
previously created in our lab to subject up to ... read morefour individual cellular constructs at a
time to mechanical stretch, while allowing the ability to perform nondestructive imaging
throughout the course of experiments. The goal of this project was to improve the design
of the cell culture chambers, facilitating an extended duration of experiments and the
multiplexing of simultaneous experimental groups. Validation studies were carried out to
four weeks of mechanical stimulation, surpassing the ten days published with the
previous system. Silk yarn constructs were seeded with MSCs and broken into three
experimental groups according to duration. Each group contained four stretched
constructs and four static controls. Confocal imaging throughout the process tracked
cell growth and mechanical failure testing at the endpoints confirmed the changes in the
biomaterial properties. The stretching was not shown to yield statistically significant
differences in material properties, but time was a significant factor. The results show
that the system is capable of long-term experiments, and may easily be adapted to vary
Thesis (M.S.)--Tufts University, 2012.
Submitted to the Dept. of Biomedical Engineering.
Advisor: David Kaplan.
Committee: Qiabing Xu, and Gary Leisk.
Keywords: Biomedical engineering, Biomechanics, and Mechanics.read less