Scaffolds with a high surface area-to-volume ratio and cultured under fast flow perfusion result in optimal O2 delivery to the cells in artificial bone tissues

Thanh Danh Nguyen, Olufemi E. Kadri, Vassilios I. Sikavitsas, Roman S. Voronov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Tissue engineering has the potential for repairing large bone defects, which impose a heavy financial burden on the public health. However, difficulties with O2 delivery to the cells residing in the interior of tissue engineering scaffolds make it challenging to grow artificial tissues of clinically-relevant sizes. This study uses image-based simulation in order to provide insight into how to better optimize the scaffold manufacturing parameters, and the culturing conditions, in order to resolve the O2 bottleneck. To do this, high resolution 3D X-ray images of two common scaffold types (salt leached foam and non-woven fiber mesh) are fed into Lattice Boltzmann Method fluid dynamics and reactive Lagrangian Scalar Tracking mass transfer solvers. The obtained findings indicate that the scaffolds should have maximal surface area-to-solid volume ratios for higher chances of the molecular collisions with the cells. Furthermore, the cell culture media should be flown through the scaffold pores as fast as practically possible (without detaching or killing the cells). Finally, we have provided a parametric sweep that maps how the molecular transport within the scaffolds is affected by variations in rates of O2 consumption by the cells. Ultimately, the results of this study are expected to benefit the computer-assisted design of tissue engineering scaffolds and culturing experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2381
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Instrumentation
  • Engineering(all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


  • Bone tissue engineering
  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Culturing protocol
  • Lagrangian scalar tracking
  • Lattice Boltzmann method
  • Mass transfer
  • Optimization
  • Oxygen delivery
  • Scaffold design
  • Transport


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