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Ann Biomed Eng. 2005 Jan;33(1):63-70.

Flow perfusion enhances the calcified matrix deposition of marrow stromal cells in biodegradable nonwoven fiber mesh scaffolds.

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  • 1Department of Bioengineering, Rice University, Houston, TX 77251-1892, USA.


In this study, we report on the ability of resorbable poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA) nonwoven scaffolds to support the attachment, growth, and differentiation of marrow stromal cells (MSCs) under fluid flow. Rat MSCs were isolated from young male Wistar rats and expanded using established methods. The cells were then seeded on PLLA nonwoven fiber meshes. The PLLA nonwoven fiber meshes had 99% porosity, 17 microm fiber diameter, 10 mm scaffold diameter, and 1.7-mm thickness. The nonwoven PLLA meshes were seeded with a cell suspension of 5 x 10(5) cells in 300 microl, and cultured in a flow perfusion bioreactor and under static conditions. Cell/polymer nonwoven scaffolds cultured under flow perfusion had significantly higher amounts of calcified matrix deposited on them after 16 days of culture. Microcomputed tomography revealed that the in vitro generated extracellular matrix in the scaffolds cultured under static conditions was denser at the periphery of the scaffold while in the scaffolds cultured in the perfusion bioreactor the extracellular matrix demonstrated a more homogeneous distribution. These results show that flow perfusion accelerates the proliferation and differentiation of MSCs, seeded on nonwoven PLLA scaffolds, toward the osteoblastic phenotype, and improves the distribution of the in vitro generated calcified extracellular matrix.

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