Shipley, R.J., Jones, G.W., Dyson, R.J., Sengers, B.G., Bailey, C.L., Catt, C.J., Please, C.P. and Malda, J.
Design criteria for a printed tissue engineering construct: A mathematical homogenization approach
Journal of Theoretical Biology, 259, (3), . (doi:10.1016/j.jtbi.2009.03.037).
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Cartilage tissue repair procedures currently under development aim to create a construct in which patient-derived cells are seeded and expanded ex vivo before implantation back into the body. The key challenge is producing physiologically realistic constructs that mimic real tissue structure and function. One option with vast potential is to print strands of material in a 3D structure called a scaffold that imitates the real tissue structure; the strands are composed of gel seeded with cells and so provide a template for cartilaginous tissue growth. The scaffold is placed in the construct and pumped with nutrient-rich culture medium to supply nutrients to the cells and remove waste products, thus promoting tissue growth.
In this paper we use asymptotic homogenization to determine the effective flow and transport properties of such a printed scaffold system. These properties are used to predict the distribution of nutrient/waste products through the construct, and to specify design criteria for the scaffold that will optimize the growth of functional tissue
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