Ph.D. Proposal Presentation by Marnico Deladisma
Monday, May 12, 2003

(Dr. Marc K. Smith, advisor)

"Lattice-Boltzmann Simulation of a Cell-Polymer Bioreactor System"

Articular cartilage has a limited ability to heal due to its avascular, aneural, and alymphatic nature. Currently, there is a need for alternative therapies for diseases that affect articular cartilage such as osteoarthritis. Recently, it has been shown that tissue constructs, which resemble cartilage in structure and function, can be cultured in vitro in a cell-polymer bioreactor system. The bioreactor provides a three dimensional environment that promotes proliferation and matrix production. The primary objective of this study is to accurately simulate the fluid dynamics of a cell-polymer bioreactor system using the Lattice-Boltzmann method. This flexible computation technique will allow for the simulation of a moving porous construct under various bioreactor conditions. The goal of this study is to characterize the shear stresses felt by a growing tissue construct in this dynamic environment. This information is important since recent studies show that chondrocytic function may depend on the mechanical stimuli produced by fluid flow. Hence, shear stress may affect the final mechanical properties of tissue constructs. In this study, numerical simulations done first in 2-D and then extended to 3-D of the rotating wall vessel (RWV) bioreactor will be undertaken. In addition, flow through a 3-D porous scaffold in a confined channel will be studied. The results will be benchmarked against computations done with a commercial CFD package, Fluent, and compared with analytic and experimental data.