(Dr. G. Paul Neitzel, advisor)
"Quantitative Measurements of Flow within a Polymer Scaffold in a Compression-Perfusion Bioreactor"
Articular cartilage injury and degradation due to the effects of arthritis are common medical problems. The in vitro engineering of cartilage tissue for implantation and integration with native, healthy cartilage is one solution being explored. Various types of bioreactors have been employed for such tissue-engineering studies which grow the cartilage on a fibrous, porous scaffold called a “felt”; the type of bioreactor of interest in the present study is one employing both periodic compression of the growing tissue and its perfusion with culture medium. It is known that the flow environment adjacent to and within developing cartilage affects the properties of the resulting tissue. The present research is aimed at quantifying flow properties within a model felt housed in a scaled-up compression-perfusion bioreactor using particle-image velocimetry.