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Nutrient transport in bioreactors for bone tissue growth : why do hollow fiber membrane bioreactors work

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journal contribution
posted on 12.01.2009, 15:03 by N.S. Abdullah, D.R. Jones, Diganta DasDiganta Das
One of the main aims of bone tissue engineering is to produce three-dimensional soft bone tissue constructs of acceptable clinical size and shape in bioreactors. The tissue constructs have been proposed as possible replacements for diseased or dysfunctional bones in the human body through surgical transplantations. However, because of certain restrictions to the design and operation of the bioreactors, the size of the tissue constructs attained are currently below clinical standards. We believe that understanding the fluid flow and nutrient transport behaviour in the bioreactors is critical in achieving clinically viable constructs. Nevertheless, characterization of transport behaviour in these bioreactors is not trivial. As they are very small in size and operate under stringent conditions, in-situ measurements of nutrients are almost impossible. This issue has been somewhat resolved using computational modelling in previous studies. However, there is still a lack of certainty on the suitability of bioreactors. To address this issue we systematically compare the suitability of three bioreactors for growing bone tissues using mathematical modelling tools. We show how nutrient transport may be improved in these bioreactors by varying the operating conditions and suggest which bioreactor may be best suited for operating at high cell densities in order to achieve soft bone tissues of clinical size. The governing equations defined in our mathematical frameworks are solved through finite element method. The results show that the hollow fiber membrane bioreactor (HFMB) is able to maintain higher nutrient concentration during operation at high cell densities compared to the other two bioreactors, namely suspended tube and confined profusion type bioreactor. Our results show that by varying the operating conditions nutrient transport may be enhanced and the nutrient gradient can be substantially reduced. These are consistent with previous claims suggesting that the HFMB is suited for bone tissue growth at high cell densities.

History

School

  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering

Department

  • Chemical Engineering

Citation

ABDULLAH, N.S., JONES, D.R. and BAS, D.B., 2009. Nutrient transport in bioreactors for bone tissue growth : why do hollow fiber membrane bioreactors work. Chemical Engineering Science, 64 (1), pp. 109-125

Publisher

© Elsevier Ltd

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publication date

2009

Notes

This article was published in the journal, Chemical Engineering Science [© Elsevier] and the definitive version is available at: www.elsevier.com/locate/ces

ISSN

0009-2509

Language

en