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Tissue Eng. 2000 Oct;6(5):519-30.

Numerical model and experimental validation of microcarrier motion in a rotating bioreactor.

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Department of Bioengineering University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.


The equations of motion for microcarriers in a rotating bioreactor have been formulated and trajectories obtained using numerical techniques. An imaging system was built to validate the results by direct observation of microcarrier trajectories in the rotating frame of reference. The microcarrier motion observed by this imaging system was in excellent agreement with the numerical predictions of that motion. In the rotating frame of reference, microcarriers with density greater than the surrounding fluid medium followed a circular motion relative to the culture medium combined with a persistent migration and eventual collision with the outer wall of the reactor. However, for microcarrier density less the fluid medium, their circular motion migrated toward the central region of the reactor. When multiple microcarrier beads that are lighter than water are inserted into the reactor, the centrally directed migration results in the formation of clusters that are stabilized by tissue bridges formed by osteoblasts seeded onto the microcarriers. This system offers unique opportunities to monitor tissue synthesis on microcarriers using real-time optical techniques and to optimize the bioreactor operating conditions for exploiting this technology to study early bone tissue synthesis in vitro.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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