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Title: Mathematical and computational modelling of tissue engineered bone in a hydrostatic bioreactor
Author: Leonard, Katherine H. L.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5366 1929
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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In vitro tissue engineering is a method for developing living and functional tissues external to the body, often within a device called a bioreactor to control the chemical and mechanical environment. However, the quality of bone tissue engineered products is currently inadequate for clinical use as the implant cannot bear weight. In an effort to improve the quality of the construct, hydrostatic pressure, the pressure in a fluid at equilibrium that is required to balance the force exerted by the weight of the fluid above, has been investigated as a mechanical stimulus for promoting extracellular matrix deposition and mineralisation within bone tissue. Thus far, little research has been performed into understanding the response of bone tissue cells to mechanical stimulation. In this thesis we investigate an in vitro bone tissue engineering experimental setup, whereby human mesenchymal stem cells are seeded within a collagen gel and cultured in a hydrostatic pressure bioreactor. In collaboration with experimentalists a suite of mathematical models of increasing complexity is developed and appropriate numerical methods are used to simulate these models. Each of the models investigates different aspects of the experimental setup, from focusing on global quantities of interest through to investigating their detailed local spatial distribution. The aim of this work is to increase understanding of the underlying physical processes which drive the growth and development of the construct, and identify which factors contribute to the highly heterogeneous spatial distribution of the mineralised extracellular matrix seen experimentally. The first model considered is a purely temporal model, where the evolution of cells, solid substrate, which accounts for the initial collagen scaffold and deposited extracellular matrix along with attendant mineralisation, and fluid in response to the applied pressure are examined. We demonstrate that including the history of the mechanical loading of cells is important in determining the quantity of deposited substrate. The second and third models extend this non-spatial model, and examine biochemically and biomechanically-induced spatial patterning separately. The first of these spatial models demonstrates that nutrient diffusion along with nutrient-dependent mass transfer terms qualitatively reproduces the heterogeneous spatial effects seen experimentally. The second multiphase model is used to investigate whether the magnitude of the shear stresses generated by fluid flow, can qualitatively explain the heterogeneous mineralisation seen in the experiments. Numerical simulations reveal that the spatial distribution of the fluid shear stress magnitude is highly heterogeneous, which could be related to the spatial heterogeneity in the mineralisation seen experimentally.
Supervisor: Whiteley, Jonathan; Waters, Sarah; James, Osborne Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Mathematical biology ; Computer science (mathematics) ; Biology and other natural sciences (mathematics) ; Ordinary differential equations ; Partial differential equations ; Fluid mechanics (mathematics) ; mathematical modelling ; tissue engineering ; multiphase model ; bone ; hydrostatic pressure ; numerical simulation