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Development of a Bioreactor System for Tissue Engineering

Traditionally, optimised 2-dimensional surfaces have been used for growing cells in vitro.  However, cellular functions of living tissues are missed by such cultures.  To mimic the functions of living tissue, 3-dimensional (3D) cultures are needed.  Such cultures bridge the gap between cell culture and live tissue and thus allow investigations of the real interactions between cells and novel biomaterials.  Also, such culture would enable the production of cell-seeded matrices in vitro that can be used to promote tissue repair.  Producing tissue in culture requires not only a suitable 3D scaffold but also the ability to control nutrient and gas exchange, as observed in the body, along with mechanical stimulation. This has led to the development of bioreactors.  Bioreactors provide the appropriate culture environment to grow three-dimensional tissue using biologically relevant scaffolds.  They can grow, modulate and preserve tissue growth, especially when applying suitable mechanical stimuli such as shear or perfusion.

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