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Computational modeling and experimental characterization of fluid dynamics in micro-CT scanned scaffolds within a multiple-sample airlift perfusion bioreactor

  • Autori: Capuana, Elisa; Campora, Simona; Catanzaro, Giorgio; Lopresti, Francesco; Conoscenti, Gioacchino; Ghersi, Giulio; La Carrubba, Vincenzo; Brucato, Valerio; Carfi' Pavia, Francesco
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2023
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


The perfusion of flow during cell culture induces cell proliferation and enhances cellular activity. Perfusion bioreactors offer a controlled dynamic environment for reliable in vitro applications in the tissue engineering field. In this work, to evaluate the effects of the operating parameters of a custom-made bioreactor, numerical simulations were performed to solve the fluid velocity profile inside the bioreactor containing multi-grid support that allows allocating of multiple seeded scaffolds at the same time. The perfusion system exhibited a uniform distribution of liquid velocities within the regions, suitable for cell growth on seeded scaffolds. The effects of the porous microstructure of scaffolds on the extracellular matrix deposition also play a crucial role during perfusion cultures. In the present study, a numerical simulation was implemented at the pore level of the scaffold for fluid flow through porous media during perfused culture. Micro-computed tomography was used to obtain the digital 3D image of the complex geometry of a PLLA scaffold, offering a detailed analysis from a volume-based methodology without simplifications of the results as for pore or Darcy's law-models. Predictions about the uniformity of the flow field through the scaffolds-bioreactor system have been assessed by quantifying the cell viability of a perfusion culture while using pre-osteoblastic cells seeded on 24 PLLA scaffolds for up to 6 days.