Tissue engineering aims producing tissues and organs in-vitro which can be used to replace those that are not working properly or are ill. There are a lot of factors which influence the result of such culture process and determine the successful obtaining of a functional "good quality" tissue. Among them, the type of scaffold and cells play a very important role, while the cell distribution after the seeding process, the oxygen and nutrients distribution through the volume of the scaffold and the scaffold microstructure have also a strong influence on the properties of the final tissue.
Moreover those factors, the conditions in which the culture is developed have also a crucial importance in the final result of a tissue engineered culture. The reason for this, is that most of the work in the construction of the new tissue is left to the action of cells seeded in the scaffold. Ideally, cells would proliferate in the scaffold expanding its number and generating new extracellular matrix to compose the new engineered organ or tissue.
However, it has been shown that cell behaviour -including the way they generate new tissue- is strongly influenced by the environmental conditions they are cultured, so the appropriate cells and scaffold culture in the wrong conditions can result in a non-valid or "bad quality" tissue, which is useless for the purposes it was created. Therefore, it is of crucial importance to carry out the cultures under to right conditions so cells generate quality tissue.
Then, the arising question is: which are the optimal conditions for cells to behave in the desired way? or, in other words, which are the culture conditions for cells to behave as they do when living in-vivo? And the obvious answer is that cells will behave the closer to the in-vivo conditions the closer the growing in-vitro conditions mimic the in-vivo conditions.
Among many other factors, it has been proved that cells strongly respond to mechanical stimuli and adapt their behaviour to the loading conditions, which is specially marked in some cases. The development of organs like bones, articular cartilage, blood vessels and many others, is influenced by the mechanical loading. Load tissue engineering bioreactors try to simulate the in-vivo growing conditions to some extent by applying direct loading on the culture substrate, which is of crucial importance in the obtaining of tissue with the desired properties.
The TC-3 tension/compression bioreactor is allows applying load on the cell culture substrate to reproduce the in-vivo conditions. Take a look at its features!