An Overview on Bioreactor Design Prototyping and Process Control for Reproducible Three Dimensional Tissue Culture

Ralf Pörtner and Christoph Giese

Bioreactor systems play an important role in tissue engineering, as they enable reproducible and controlled changes to be made in specific environmental factors. They can also provide the technical means to perform controlled studies aimed at understanding specific biological, chemical, or physical effects. Furthermore, bioreactors allow for a safe and reproducible production of tissue constructs. For later clinical applications, the bioreactor system should be an advantageous method in terms of low contamination risk, ease of handling, and scalability. With respect to drug screening, the main challenge is the efficient, reproducible handling of a large quantity of tissue constructs in parallel (high-throughput screening). To date, the goals and expectations of bioreactor development have been fulfilled only to some extent, as bioreactor design in tissue engineering is very complex and still at an early stage of development, especially for use in drug screening. In this chapter, important aspects of bioreactor design are summarized, and an overview ofexisting concepts is provided. An artificial immunosystem will be used as an example to demonstrate how an increased fundamental understanding of biological, biochemical, and engineering aspects can significantly improve the properties of 3D tissue constructs.

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