A double chamber rotating bioreactor for enhanced tubular tissue generation from human mesenchymal stem cells: A promising tool for vascular tissue regeneration

I. Stefani, M. A. Asnaghi, J. J. Cooper-White, S. Mantero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Cardiovascular diseases represent a major global health burden, with high rates of mortality and morbidity. Autologous grafts are commonly used to replace damaged or failing blood vessels; however, such approaches are hampered by the scarcity of suitable graft tissue, donor site morbidity and poor long-term stability. Tissue engineering has been investigated as a means by which exogenous vessel grafts can be produced, with varying levels of success to date, a result of mismatched mechanical properties of these vessel substitutes and inadequate ex vivo vessel tissue genesis. In this work, we describe the development of a novel multifunctional dual-phase (air/aqueous) bioreactor, designed to both rotate and perfuse small-diameter tubular scaffolds and encourage enhanced tissue genesis throughout such scaffolds. Within this novel dynamic culture system, an elastomeric nanofibrous, microporous composite tubular scaffold, composed of poly(caprolactone) and acrylated poly(lactide-co-trimethylene-carbonate) and with mechanical properties approaching those of native vessels, was seeded with human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) and cultured for up to 14days in inductive (smooth muscle) media. This scaffold/bioreactor combination provided a dynamic culture environment that enhanced (compared with static controls) scaffold colonization, cell growth, extracellular matrix deposition and in situ differentiation of the hMSCs into mature smooth muscle cells, representing a concrete step towards our goal of creating a mature ex vivo vascular tissue for implantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e42-e52
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Bioreactor
  • Composite scaffold
  • Dynamic culture
  • Mesenchymal stem cell
  • Vascular grafts

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