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Macro and Microfluidic Flows for Skeletal Regenerative Medicine

Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln 68588, NE, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cells 2012, 1(4), 1225-1245;
Received: 3 September 2012 / Revised: 7 November 2012 / Accepted: 4 December 2012 / Published: 11 December 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tissue and Organ Regeneration)
PDF [517 KB, uploaded 11 December 2012]


Fluid flow has a great potential as a cell stimulatory tool for skeletal regenerative medicine, because fluid flow-induced bone cell mechanotransduction in vivo plays a critical role in maintaining healthy bone homeostasis. Applications of fluid flow for skeletal regenerative medicine are reviewed at macro and microscale. Macroflow in two dimensions (2D), in which flow velocity varies along the normal direction to the flow, has explored molecular mechanisms of bone forming cell mechanotransduction responsible for flow-regulated differentiation, mineralized matrix deposition, and stem cell osteogenesis. Though 2D flow set-ups are useful for mechanistic studies due to easiness in in situ and post-flow assays, engineering skeletal tissue constructs should involve three dimensional (3D) flows, e.g., flow through porous scaffolds. Skeletal tissue engineering using 3D flows has produced promising outcomes, but 3D flow conditions (e.g., shear stress vs. chemotransport) and scaffold characteristics should further be tailored. Ideally, data gained from 2D flows may be utilized to engineer improved 3D bone tissue constructs. Recent microfluidics approaches suggest a strong potential to mimic in vivo microscale interstitial flows in bone. Though there have been few microfluidics studies on bone cells, it was demonstrated that microfluidic platform can be used to conduct high throughput screening of bone cell mechanotransduction behavior under biomimicking flow conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: fluid flow; macroflow; 2D and 3D; microfluidics; bone; mechanotransduction; regenerative medicine fluid flow; macroflow; 2D and 3D; microfluidics; bone; mechanotransduction; regenerative medicine

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Riehl, B.D.; Lim, J.Y. Macro and Microfluidic Flows for Skeletal Regenerative Medicine. Cells 2012, 1, 1225-1245.

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