Cyclic deformation-induced solute transport in tissue scaffolds with computer designed, interconnected, pore networks: Experiments and simulations

Jorn Op Den Buijs, Dan Dragomir-Daescu, Erik L. Ritman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nutrient supply and waste removal in porous tissue engineering scaffolds decrease from the periphery to the center, leading to limited depth of ingrowth of new tissue into the scaffold. However, as many tissues experience cyclic physiological strains, this may provide a mechanism to enhance solute transport in vivo before vascularization of the scaffold. The hypothesis of this study was that pore cross-sectional geometry and interconnectivity are of major importance for the effectiveness of cyclic deformation-induced solute transport. Transparent elastic polyurethane scaffolds, with computer-programmed design of pore networks in the form of interconnected channels, were fabricated using a 3D printing and injection molding technique. The scaffold pores were loaded with a colored tracer for optical contrast, cyclically compressed with deformations of 10 and 15% of the original undeformed height at 1.0 Hz. Digital imaging was used to quantify the spatial distribution of the tracer concentration within the pores. Numerical simulations of a fluid-structure interaction model of deformation-induced solute transport were compared to the experimental data. The results of experiments and modeling agreed well and showed that pore interconnectivity heavily influences deformation-induced solute transport. Pore cross-sectional geometry appears to be of less relative importance in interconnected pore networks. Validated computer models of solute transport can be used to design optimal scaffold pore geometries that will enhance the convective transport of nutrients inside the scaffold and the removal of waste, thus improving the cell survivability deep inside the scaffold.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1601-1612
Number of pages12
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Volume37
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2009

Keywords

  • Computational modeling
  • Cyclic strain
  • Imaging
  • Solid freeform fabrication
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering

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