Mathematical modelling of fibre-enhanced perfusion inside a tissue-engineering bioreactor.
Whittaker RJ., Booth R., Dyson R., Bailey C., Parsons Chini L., Naire S., Payvandi S., Rong Z., Woollard H., Cummings LJ., Waters SL., Mawasse L., Chaudhuri JB., Ellis MJ., Michael V., Kuiper NJ., Cartmell S.
We develop a simple mathematical model for forced flow of culture medium through a porous scaffold in a tissue-engineering bioreactor. Porous-walled hollow fibres penetrate the scaffold and act as additional sources of culture medium. The model, based on Darcy's law, is used to examine the nutrient and shear-stress distributions throughout the scaffold. We consider several configurations of fibres and inlet and outlet pipes. Compared with a numerical solution of the full Navier-Stokes equations within the complex scaffold geometry, the modelling approach is cheap, and does not require knowledge of the detailed microstructure of the particular scaffold being used. The potential of this approach is demonstrated through quantification of the effect the additional flow from the fibres has on the nutrient and shear-stress distribution.