Originally Published MPMN October 2003
Bioreactor Advances Functional Tissue Engineering
Device may accelerate development of tissue-engineered products
|The six-station Items BioReactor from EnduraTec enables researchers to explore issues that will become critical as tissue engineering moves from the laboratory to production.|
Tissue-engineered products are expected to play a leading role in cardiovascular and orthopedic tissue repair and replacement. EnduraTec (Minneapolis) has developed what it believes is the first commercially available intelligent bioreactor for functional tissue engineering.
The Items BioReactor is a closed-loop nutrient-flow subsystem that applies mechanical stresses and strains to engineered tissue during its growth phase. It also allows researchers to query the mechanical condition of the tissue construct. Proprietary software enables estimation of the modulus; the simulation profile can be adjusted to optimize growth patterns.
The BioReactor design is based on the company's stent- and graft-testing instruments. The device allows researchers to seed the tissue construct and to apply various pressure and flow waveforms. Stimulating cell growth and matrix deposition in this manner helps scientists to pinpoint constructs with properties suitable for use in humans.
The Items BioReactor is available in a single- or six-chamber design. By growing six tissues at once, the multispecimen device makes possible in-depth analyses of how a bioreactor environment may enhance tissue growth. It also allows researchers to explore issues such as scale-up and tissue uniformity. These criteria are important as tissue-engineered products migrate from the laboratory to a production environment, according to the firm.
Both bioreactors are suited for the development of tissue-engineered blood vessels, grafts, and valves. Other designs for the direct stimulation of bone and ligaments are also available.
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