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Tissue engineering is one of the fastest growing biotechnology industries. The overarching research goals of the tissue engineering industry are highly intertwined with the field of medicine. The tissue engineering field seeks to create a variety of technologies that can be used in a clinical setting for tissue repair therapy. These technologies include everything from cell-based trophic factor therapies to engineered tissue grafts, and potentially engineered tissues. At the forefront of tissue engineering research is the extensive use of adult stem cells. Adult stem cells are located throughout the body and have the ability to differentiate into a variety of different tissue types. This plasticity enables adult stem cells to be used in a wide range of tissue engineering research. Despite all of the advancements made in the tissue engineering field, some obstacles still need to be overcome before tissue engineering can be used extensively as a clinical therapy for tissue damage and repair. One of the largest obstacles is the creation of tissue engineering technologies that mimic the existing human body conditions as close as possible. The creation of fully biomimetic tissue engineering technologies will increase the quality and functionality of the engineered grafts and therapies. The research presented will discuss the development and implementation of a biomimetic perfusion bioreactor. The reactor was designed to incorporate a number of environmental factors that play a large role in controlling cellular behaviors into a culture system capable of supporting the growth of a human mesenchymal stem cell construct. Furthermore, the reactor was constructed to allow the tissue construct to be studied in a non-invasive manner. This characteristic provides a way to keep the integrity of the cell construct throughout the experimentation process so it remains functional and viable until it is potentially needed for tissue therapy.
A Dissertation submitted to the Institute of Molecular Biophysics in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Teng Ma, Professor Directing Dissertation; Kenneth Goldsby, Outside Committee Member; Timothy Logan, Committee Member; Samuel Grant, Committee Member; Hong Li, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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