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Processes 2017, 5(2), 16; doi:10.3390/pr5020016

Environmental Control in Flow Bioreactors

1
Research Center “E. Piaggio”, University of Pisa, 56122 Pisa, Italy
2
Department of Information Engineering, University of Pisa, 56122 Pisa, Italy
3
Department of Computer Science, University of Pisa, 56122 Pisa, Italy
4
Optics 11, De Boelelaan 1081, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
5
CNR Institute of Clinical Physiology, 56124 Pisa, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: B. Wayne Bequette
Received: 1 March 2017 / Revised: 2 April 2017 / Accepted: 4 April 2017 / Published: 7 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedical Systems Control)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3117 KB, uploaded 7 April 2017]   |  

Abstract

The realization of physiologically-relevant advanced in vitro models is not just related to the reproduction of a three-dimensional multicellular architecture, but also to the maintenance of a cell culture environment in which parameters, such as temperature, pH, and hydrostatic pressure are finely controlled. Tunable and reproducible culture conditions are crucial for the study of environment-sensitive cells, and can also be used for mimicking pathophysiological conditions related with alterations of temperature, pressure and pH. Here, we present the SUITE (Supervising Unit for In Vitro Testing) system, a platform able to monitor and adjust local environmental variables in dynamic cell culture experiments. The physical core of the control system is a mixing chamber, which can be connected to different bioreactors and acts as a media reservoir equipped with a pH meter and pressure sensors. The chamber is heated by external resistive elements and the temperature is controlled using a thermistor. A purpose-built electronic control unit gathers all data from the sensors and controls the pH and hydrostatic pressure by regulating air and CO2 overpressure and flux. The system’s modularity and the possibility of imposing different pressure conditions were used to implement a model of portal hypertension with both endothelial and hepatic cells. The results show that the SUITE platform is able to control and maintain cell culture parameters at fixed values that represent either physiological or pathological conditions. Thus, it represents a fundamental tool for the design of biomimetic in vitro models, with applications in disease modelling or toxicity testing. View Full-Text
Keywords: bioreactors; environmental control; in vitro models; portal hypertension models bioreactors; environmental control; in vitro models; portal hypertension models
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Giusti, S.; Mazzei, D.; Cacopardo, L.; Mattei, G.; Domenici, C.; Ahluwalia, A. Environmental Control in Flow Bioreactors. Processes 2017, 5, 16.

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