Tissue-Engineered Vessel Strengthens Quickly under Physiological Deformation: Application of a New Perfusion Bioreactor with Machine VisionXu J.a · Ge H.a · Zhou X.b · Yang D.c · Guo T.c · He J.a · Li Q.a · Hao Z.a
aDepartment of General Surgery, Shanghai Tenth People’s Hospital of Tongji University, bDepartment of Neurology, Shanghai First People’s Hospital of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai and cDepartment of Orthopaedics, Second Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China
In order to develop a patent tissue-engineered blood vessel that grossly resembles native tissue, required culture times in most studies exceed 8 weeks. For the sake of shortening the maturation period of the constructs, we have used deformation as the basic index for mechanical environment control. A new bioreactor with a machine vision identifier was developed to accurately control the deformation of the construct during the perfusion process. Two groups of seeded constructs (n = 4 per group) were investigated in this study, with one group stimulated by a cyclic deformation of 10% and the other by a pulsatile pressure that gradually increased to 120 mm Hg (the control group). After 21 days of culture, the mechanical properties of the constructs were examined. The average burst strength and suture retention strength in the two groups were significantly different (t test, p < 0.05). For the experimental group, the average burst strength and suture retention strength were higher than those of the control group, by 31.6 and 23.4%, respectively. Specifically, the average burst strength of the constructs reached 1,402 mm Hg (close to that of the native vessel, i.e. 1,680 mm Hg) within a relatively short period of 21 days. In conclusion, deformation is an observable, controllable and very valuable index for mechanical environment control in vascular tissue engineering. It makes the control of mechanical stimuli more essential and experiments more comparable.
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