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A Novel Bioreactor for the Flexural Stimulation of Tissue Engineered Heart Valve Biomaterials

[+] Author Affiliations
George Engelmayr, Michael S. Sacks

University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

Fraser W. H. Sutherland, John E. Mayer, Jr.

Children’s Hospital of Boston, Boston, MA

Paper No. IMECE2002-33585, pp. 95-96; 2 pages
  • ASME 2002 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Advances in Bioengineering
  • New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, November 17–22, 2002
  • Conference Sponsors: Bioengineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3650-9 | eISBN: 0-7918-1691-5, 0-7918-1692-3, 0-7918-1693-1
  • Copyright © 2002 by ASME


A novel bioreactor was developed for the purpose of studying the effect of dynamic flexural stimulation on the properties of tissue engineered heart valve (TEHV) scaffolds and constructs. While pulse duplicator and flow loop bioreactors have shown promise in the development of functional tissue engineered cardiovascular constructs [1–3], these devices present several drawbacks when applied to the study of fundamental biomechanical phenomena, including: small sample capacity, anatomical sample geometry, and coupled mechanical stimuli. In contrast, our bioreactor was designed to provide a simple, user-controllable mode of mechanical stimulation; cyclic three-point bending; offer a sufficient sample capacity for statistically significant comparisons at multiple time points, and accommodate a simple sample geometry amenable to mechanical testing. The bioreactor has the capacity to dynamically flex twelve rectangular samples (2.5 × 0.75 × 0.2 cm) under sterile conditions in a humidified cell culture incubator operating at 37 °C and 5% CO2 (Figure 1).

Copyright © 2002 by ASME



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