The construction of tissue-engineered parts such as heart valves and arteries requires more than just the seeding of cells onto a biocompatible/biodegradable polymeric scaffold. It is essential that the functionality and mechanical integrity of the cell-seeded scaffold be investigated in vitro prior to in vivo implantation. The correct hemodynamic conditioning would lead to the development of tissues with enhanced mechanical strength and cell viability. Therefore, a bioreactor that can simulate physiological conditions would play an important role in the preparation of tissue-engineered constructs. In this article, we present and discuss the design concepts and criteria, as well as the development, of a multifunctional bioreactor for tissue culture in vitro. The system developed is compact and easily housed in an incubator to maintain sterility of the construct. Moreover, the proposed bioreactor, in addition to mimicking in vivo conditions, is highly flexible, allowing different types of constructs to be exposed to various physiological flow conditions. Initial verification of the hemodynamic parameters using Laser doppler anemometry indicated that the bioreactor performed well and produced the correct physiological conditions.
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