A multiscale computational fluid dynamics approach to simulate the micro-fluidic environment within a tissue engineering scaffold with highly irregular pore geometry

Feihu Zhao, Johanna Melke, Keita Ito, Bert van Rietbergen & Sandra Hofmann

Published: 01/12/2019


Mechanical stimulation can regulate cellular behavior, e.g., differentiation, proliferation, matrix production and mineralization. To apply fluid-induced wall shear stress (WSS) on cells, perfusion bioreactors have been commonly used in tissue engineering experiments. The WSS on cells depends on the nature of the micro-fluidic environment within scaffolds under medium perfusion. Simulating the fluidic environment within scaffolds will be important for gaining a better insight into the actual mechanical stimulation on cells in a tissue engineering experiment. However, biomaterial scaffolds used in tissue engineering experiments typically have highly irregular pore geometries. This complexity in scaffold geometry implies high computational costs for simulating the precise fluidic environment within the scaffolds. In this study, we propose a low-computational cost and feasible technique for quantifying the micro-fluidic environment within the scaffolds, which have highly irregular pore geometries. This technique is based on a multiscale computational fluid dynamics approach. It is demonstrated that this approach can capture the WSS distribution in most regions within the scaffold. Importantly, the central process unit time needed to run the model is considerably low.

Full Access Link: Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology