Natural tissues are incorporated with vasculature, which is further integrated with a cardiovascular system responsible for driving perfusion of nutrient-rich oxygenated blood through the vasculature to support cell metabolism within most cell-dense tissues. Since scaffold-free biofabricated tissues being developed into clinical implants, research models, and pharmaceutical testing platforms should similarly exhibit perfused tissue-like structures, we generated a generalizable biofabrication method resulting in self-supporting perfused (SSuPer) tissue constructs incorporated with perfusible microchannels and integrated with the modular FABRICA perfusion bioreactor. As proof of concept, we perfused an MLO-A5 osteoblast-based SSuPer tissue in the FABRICA. Although our resulting SSuPer tissue replicated vascularization and perfusion observed in situ, supported its own weight, and stained positively for mineral using Von Kossa staining, our in vitro results indicated that computational fluid dynamics (CFD) should be used to drive future construct design and flow application before further tissue biofabrication and perfusion. We built a CFD model of the SSuPer tissue integrated in the FABRICA and analyzed flow characteristics (net force, pressure distribution, shear stress, and oxygen distribution) through five SSuPer tissue microchannel patterns in two flow directions and at increasing flow rates. Important flow parameters include flow direction, fully developed flow, and tissue microchannel diameters matched and aligned with bioreactor flow channels. We observed that the SSuPer tissue platform is capable of providing direct perfusion to tissue constructs and proper culture conditions (oxygenation, with controllable shear and flow rates), indicating that our approach can be used to biofabricate tissue representing primary tissues and that we can model the system in silico.
- computational fluid dynamics
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology