Micro-computed tomography based modeling of shear stresses in perfused regular and irregular scaffolds

E. Zermatten, J.R. Vetsch, D. Ruffoni, S. Hofmann, R. Müller, A. Steinfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
120 Downloads (Pure)


Perfusion bioreactors are known to exert shear stresses on cultured cells, leading to cell differentiation and enhanced extracellular matrix deposition on scaffolds. The influence of the scaffold’s porous microstructure is investigated for a polycaprolactone (PCL) scaffold with a regular microarchitecture and a silk fibroin (SF) scaffold with an irregular network of interconnected pores. Their complex 3D geometries are imaged by micro-computed tomography and used in direct pore-level simulations of the entire scaffold–bioreactor system to numerically solve the governing mass and momentum conservation equations for fluid flow through porous media. The velocity field and wall shear stress distribution are determined for both scaffolds. The PCL scaffold exhibited an asymmetric distribution with peak and plateau, while the SF scaffold exhibited a homogenous distribution and conditioned the flow more efficiently than the PCL scaffold. The methodology guides the design and optimization of the scaffold geometry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1085-1094
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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