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Biomed Mater. 2007 Sep;2(3):174-80. doi: 10.1088/1748-6041/2/3/002. Epub 2007 Aug 23.

In vitro culture of large bone substitutes in a new bioreactor: importance of the flow direction.

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Laboratoire de Recherche sur les Biomatériaux et les Biotechnologies (LR2B, UPRES EA 2603), Université du Littoral Côte-d'Opale, Boulogne-sur-Mer, France.


New biomaterials combined with osteogenic cells are now being developed as an alternative to autogeneous bone grafts when the skeletal defect reaches a critical size. Yet, the size issue appears to be a key obstacle in the development of bone tissue engineering. Bioreactors are needed to allow the in vitro expansion of cells inside large bulk materials under appropriate conditions. However, no bioreactor has yet been designed for large-scale 3D structures and custom-made scaffolds. In this study, we evaluate the efficiency of a new bioreactor for the in vitro development of large bone substitutes, ensuring the perfusion of large ceramic scaffolds by the nutritive medium. The survival and proliferation of cells inside the scaffolds after 7 and 28 days in this dynamic culture system and the impact of the direction of the flow circulation are evaluated. The follow-up of glucose consumption, DNA quantification and microscopic evaluation all confirmed cell survival and proliferation for a sample under dynamic culture conditions, whereas static culture leads to the death of cells inside the scaffolds. Two directions of flow perfusion were assayed; the convergent direction leads to enhanced results compared to divergent flow.

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