In vivo bone regeneration using tubular perfusion system bioreactor cultured nanofibrous scaffolds

Tissue Eng Part A. 2014 Jan;20(1-2):139-46. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEA.2013.0168. Epub 2013 Aug 31.


The use of bioreactors for the in vitro culture of constructs for bone tissue engineering has become prevalent as these systems may improve the growth and differentiation of a cultured cell population. Here we utilize a tubular perfusion system (TPS) bioreactor for the in vitro culture of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) and implant the cultured constructs into rat femoral condyle defects. Using nanofibrous electrospun poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid)/poly(ε-caprolactone) scaffolds, hMSCs were cultured for 10 days in vitro in the TPS bioreactor with cellular and acellular scaffolds cultured statically for 10 days as a control. After 3 and 6 weeks of in vivo culture, explants were removed and subjected to histomorphometric analysis. Results indicated more rapid bone regeneration in defects implanted with bioreactor cultured scaffolds with a new bone area of 1.23 ± 0.35 mm(2) at 21 days compared to 0.99 ± 0.43 mm(2) and 0.50 ± 0.29 mm(2) in defects implanted with statically cultured scaffolds and acellular scaffolds, respectively. At the 21 day timepoint, statistical differences (p<0.05) were only observed between defects implanted with cell containing scaffolds and the acellular control. After 42 days, however, defects implanted with TPS cultured scaffolds had the greatest new bone area with 1.72 ± 0.40 mm(2). Defects implanted with statically cultured and acellular scaffolds had a new bone area of 1.26 ± 0.43 mm(2) and 1.19 ± 0.33 mm(2), respectively. The increase in bone growth observed in defects implanted with TPS cultured scaffolds was statistically significant (p<0.05) when compared to both the static and acellular groups at this timepoint. This study demonstrates the efficacy of the TPS bioreactor to improve bone tissue regeneration and highlights the benefits of utilizing perfusion bioreactor systems to culture MSCs for bone tissue engineering.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bioreactors*
  • Bone Regeneration*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Femur / pathology
  • Humans
  • Implants, Experimental
  • Lactic Acid / chemistry
  • Nanofibers / chemistry*
  • Nanofibers / ultrastructure
  • Perfusion*
  • Polyesters / chemistry
  • Polyglycolic Acid / chemistry
  • Polylactic Acid-Polyglycolic Acid Copolymer
  • Rats
  • Rats, Nude
  • Tissue Engineering / instrumentation*
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*
  • Tissue Scaffolds / chemistry*


  • Polyesters
  • Polylactic Acid-Polyglycolic Acid Copolymer
  • polycaprolactone
  • Polyglycolic Acid
  • Lactic Acid