An in silico bioreactor for simulating laboratory experiments in tissue engineering

Fabio Galbusera, Margherita Cioffi, Manuela T. Raimondi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper presents a software framework for the computational modeling of tissue engineering experiments, aimed to supplement and extend the empirical techniques currently employed in tissue engineering. The code included a model of cell population dynamics coupled to a finite element model of oxygen diffusion and consumption at the macroscale level, including the scaffold and the culture medium, and at the level of the scaffold microarchitecture. Cells were modeled as discrete entities moving in a continuum space, under the action of adhesion and repulsion forces. Oxygen distribution was calculated with the transient diffusion equation; oxygen consumption by cells was modeled by using the Michaelis-Menten equation. Other phenomena that can be formulated as a differential problem could be added in a straightforward manner to the code, due to the use of a general purpose finite element library. Two scaffold geometries were considered: a fiber scaffold and a scaffold with interconnected spherical pores. Cells were predicted to form clusters and adhere to the scaffold walls. Although the code demonstrated the ability to provide a robust performance, a calibration of the parameters employed in the model, based on specific laboratory experiments, is now required to verify the reliability of the results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-554
Number of pages8
JournalBiomedical Microdevices
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008


  • Bioreactor
  • Cell population dynamics
  • Computational model
  • Finite element
  • Microenvironment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Genetics
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering

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