|Cell growth and differentiation on feeder layers is predicted to be influenced by bioreactor geometry.
|Year of Publication
|C.A. Peng; B.Ø. Palsson
|PLoS Comput Biol
|Tissue function is comprised of a complex interplay between biological and physicochemical rate processes. The design of bioreactors for tissue engineering must account for these processes simultaneously in order to obtain a bioreactor that provides a uniform environment for tissue growth and development. In the present study we consider the effects of fluid flow and mass transfer on the growth of a tissue in a parallel-plate bioreactor configuration. The parenchymal cells grow on a preformed stromal (feeder) layer that secretes a growth factor that stimulates parenchymal stem cell replication and differentiation. The biological dynamics are described by a unilineage model that describes the replication and differentiation of the tissue stem cell. The physicochemical rates are described by the Navier-Stokes and convective-diffusion equations. The model equations are solved by a finite element method. Two dimensionless groups govern the behavior of the solution. One is the Graetz number (Gz) that describes the relative rates of convection and diffusion, and the other a new dimensionless ratio (designated by P) that describes the interplay of the growth factor production, diffusion, and stimulation. Four geometries (slab, gondola, diamond, and radial shapes) for the parallel-plate bioreactor are analyzed. The uniformity of cell growth is measured by a two-dimensional coefficient of variance. The concentration distribution of the stroma-derived growth factor was computed first based on fluid flow and bioreactor geometry. Then the concomitant cell density distribution was obtained by integrating the calculated growth factor concentration with the parenchymal cell growth and unilineage differentiation process. The spatiotemporal cell growth patterns in four different bioreactor configurations were investigated under a variety of combinations of Gz (10(-1), 10(0), and 10(1)) and P(10(-2), 10(-1), 10(0), 10(1), and 10(2)). The results indicate high cell density and uniformity can be achieved for parameter values of P = 0.01, ..., 0.1 and Gz = 0.1, ..., 1.0. Among the four geometries investigated the radial-flow-type bioreactor provides the most uniform environment in which parenchymal cells can grow and differentiate ex vivo due to the absence of walls that are parallel to the flow paths creating slow flowing regions.