New pulsatile bioreactor for fabrication of tissue-engineered patches

Ralf Sodian, Thees Lemke, Matthias Loebe, Simon P. Hoerstrup, Evgenij V. Potapov, Harald Hausmann, Rudolf Meyer, Roland Hetzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


To date, one approach to tissue engineering has been to develop in vitro conditions to ultimately fabricate functional cardiovascular structures prior to final implantation. In our current experiment, we developed a new pulsatile flow system that provides biochemical and biomechanical signals to regulate autologous patch-tissue development in vitro. The newly developed patch bioreactor is made of Plexiglas and is completely transparent (Mediport Kardiotechnik, Berlin). The bioreactor is connected to an air-driven respirator pump, and the cell culture medium continuously circulates through a closed-loop system. We thus developed a closed-loop, perfused bioreactor for long-term patch-tissue conditioning, which combines continuous, pulsatile perfusion and mechanical stimulation by periodically stretching the tissue-engineered patch constructs. By adjusting the stroke volume, the stroke rate, and the inspiration/expiration time of the ventilator, it allows various pulsatile flows and different levels of pressure. The whole system is a highly isolated cell culture setting, which provides a high level of sterility, gas supply, and fits into a standard humidified incubator. The bioreactor can be sterilized by ethylene oxide and assembled with a standard screwdriver. Our newly developed bioreactor provides optimal biomechanical and biodynamical stimuli for controlled tissue development and in vitro conditioning of an autologous tissue-engineered patch.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)401-405
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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