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In this study, a multiple parallel perfused microbioreactor platform, TissueFlex, was developed which can be used to perform cell and tissue culture under almost uniform and precisely controlled environment in a mid-throughput and parallel manner. These microbioreactors were used to culture human bone marrow cells (hBMCs) in three-dimensional (3D) scaffolds and also in two-dimensional (2D) monolayer for comparison for upto 7 days. Several scaffolding materials were evaluated for this purpose in terms of easiness in handling, ability to support the hBMC growth, and feasibility for non-destructive optical assays. The feasibility and efficacy of using the developed 3D-hBMCs-based model tissue-constructs cultured in TissueFlex microbioreactors for drug evaluation and toxicity testing was then studied. As a demonstration case study, the cultured cells were challenged with two chemicals, trimethoprim and pyrimethamine, both known to be harmful to cellular activities, with different protocols. Cytotoxicity in terms of cell viability and growth was determined using the AlamarBlue assay. The 3D spatial variations in cell morphology and cell survival were also monitored using 3D optical imaging using non-linear multiphoton microscopy. The results show that (i) the data obtained from 3D hBMCs culture and from (2D) monolayer cultures on the effect of the tested chemicals on cell growth are significantly different, and that (ii) the perfused microbioreactor technology could provide a highly controlled and prolonged cell culture environment for testing of various drugs and chemicals. The outcome of this study demonstrated the feasibility and potentials of the using 3D stem cell based model tissues in TissueFlex microbioreactors for drug evaluation and toxicity testing of chemicals as an efficient and standardized alternative testing method.

Original publication




Journal article


Toxicol In Vitro

Publication Date





1318 - 1324


Bioreactors, Bone Marrow Cells, Cell Culture Techniques, Cell Survival, Cells, Cultured, Humans, Oxazines, Pyrimethamine, Stem Cells, Tissue Culture Techniques, Toxicity Tests, Trimethoprim, Xanthenes