Tissue engineering has emerged as a possible alternative to current treatments for bone injuries and defects. However, the common tissue engineering approach presents some obstacles to the development of functional tissues, such as insufficient nutrient and metabolite transport and non-homogenous cell distribution. Culture of bone cells in three-dimensional constructs in bioreactor systems is a solution for those problems as it improves mass transport in the culture system. For bone tissue engineering spinner flasks, rotating wall vessels and perfusion systems have been investigated, and based on these, variations that support cell seeding and mechanical stimulation have also been researched. This review aims at providing an overview of the concepts, advantages and future applications of bioreactor systems for bone tissue engineering with emphasis on the design of different perfusion systems and parameters that can be optimized.
Keywords: bioreactor; bone; perfusion; shear stress; tissue engineering.