Pulsatile Perfusion Bioreactor Mimics, Controls, and Optimizes Blood Vessel Mechanics


Reference #: 01147


The University of South Carolina is offering licensing opportunities for a perfusion bioreactor device that precisely controls and optimizes the mechanical environment for engineered vascular tissue.


Invention Description:


The subject invention describes a bioreactor that mimics, controls, and optimizes the mechanical loading and the physical properties of a range of native and engineered vascular tissues. It collects real-time mechanical and geometric data while enabling the tunability and optimization of signals including, but not limited to, flow-induced wall shear, intramural stress, and transmural stress or strain objectives.


Potential Applications:


This device may be used to quantify, enhance, and optimize blood vessel remodeling for arterial graft conditioning and tissue engineering or as platform for basic research and drug discovery.


Advantages and Benefits:


The superiority of this device lies in the manner by which the native mechanical environment of vascular tissue is replicated ex vivo. While current devices enable replication of the global mechanical environment of vascular tissue (lumen pressure and axial force), this device additionally allows control of the local mechanical environment (wall stresses and strains).


This is a critical feature, as the local mechanical environment is what drives and dictates mechanosensitive biological processes within the vessel wall. Thus, this device will potentiate meaningful advancements in tissue engineering as well as provide a test bed for therapeutic compounds intended to interrupt mechanosensitive biological processes in vascular tissue.




While theoretical and in vivo experimental studies of arterial remodeling have significantly advanced the understanding of normal vascular physiology and the genesis and progression of certain disease states, ex vivo model systems that facilitate these findings into commercial biotechnologies fall short. Existing ex vivo vascular perfusion systems fail to replicate the in vivo mechanical conditions created through pulsatile hemodynamics or incapable of sustained culture periods.


This device reproduces the in vivo mechanical state to which vascular cells are locally subjected (characterized by wall stresses and strains), as opposed to the traditional approach of controlling mechanical loading parameters (characterized by internal pressure and axial force).




Rigorous theoretical framework and the application of fundamental engineering principles have been completed. Furthermore, the hardware setup and preliminary testing has been established and focuses on: 1) the implementation and assembly of components and software that maintain mechanical stress homeostasis; 2) pulsatile hemodynamic perfusion; and 3) long-term culture conditions.

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Technology Commercialization
University of South Carolina
John Eberth
Tarek Shazly
Boran Zhou
David Prim
C. Michael Gore
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