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Computational Modeling of Human Mesenchymal Stromal Cell Proliferation and Extra-Cellular Matrix Production in 3D Porous Scaffolds in a Perfusion Bioreactor: The Effect of Growth Factors

  • Mehrian, Mohammad;
  • Lambrechts, Toon;
  • Papantoniou, Ioannis; 78064;
  • Geris, Liesbet; 35945;
Publication Date
Apr 29, 2020
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Stem cell expansion on 3D porous scaffolds cultured in bioreactor systems has been shown to be beneficial for maintenance of the original cell functionality in tissue engineering strategies (TE). However, the production of extracellular matrix (ECM) makes harvesting the progenitor cell population from 3D scaffolds a challenge. Medium composition plays a role in stimulating cell proliferation over extracellular matrix (ECM) production. In this regard, a computational model describing tissue growth inside 3D scaffolds can be a great tool in designing optimal experimental conditions. In this study, a computational model describing cell and ECM growth in a perfusion bioreactor is developed, including a description of the effect of a (generic) growth factor on the biological processes taking place inside the 3D scaffold. In the model, the speed of cell and ECM growth depends on the flow-induced shear stress, curvature and the concentrations of oxygen, glucose, lactate, and growth factor. The effect of the simulated growth factor is to differentially enhance cell proliferation over ECM production. After model calibration with historic in-house data, a multi-objective optimization procedure is executed aiming to minimize the total experimental cost whilst maximizing cell growth during culture. The obtained results indicate there are multiple optimum points for the medium refreshment regime and the initial growth factor concentration where a trade-off is made between the final amount of cells and the culture cost. Finally, the model is applied to experiments reported in the literature studying the effects of perfusion-based cell culture and/or growth factor supplementation on cell expansion. The qualitative similarities between the simulation and experimental results, even in the absence of proper model calibration, reinforces the generic character of the proposed modeling framework. The model proposed in this study can contribute to the cost efficient production of cell-based TE products, ultimately contributing to their affordability and accessibility. / status: published

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