EFFECTS OF 3D PRINTED VASCULAR NETWORKS ON HUMAN MESENCHYMAL STEM CELL VIABILITY IN LARGE BONE TISSUE CONSTRUCTS
Ball, Owen Matthew
Fisher, John P
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There is a significant clinical need for engineered bone graft substitutes that can quickly, effectively, and safely repair segmental bone defects. One emerging field of interest involves the growth of engineered bone tissue in vitro within bioreactors, the most promising of which, are perfusion bioreactors. Utilizing a tubular perfusion system bioreactor, which allows media to perfuse freely around alginate scaffolds laden with human mesenchymal stem cells, large-scale bone constructs can be created by simply aggregating these beads together in the desired shape. However, these engineered constructs lack inherent vasculature and quickly develop a necrotic core, where no nutrient exchange occurs. Through the use of 3D printed vascular structures, used in conjunction with a TPS bioreactor, cell viability after just one day of aggregation was found to increase by as much as 50 percent in the core of these constructs, with in silico modeling predicting construct viability at steady state.