Hollow fiber bioreactor technology for tissue engineering applications

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Hollow fiber bioreactors are the focus of scientific research aiming to mimic physiological vascular networks and engineer organs and tissues in vitro. The reason for this lies in the interesting features of this bioreactor type, including excellent mass transport properties. Indeed, hollow fiber bioreactors allow limitations to be overcome in nutrient transport by diffusion, which is often an obstacle to engineer sizable constructs in vitro. This work reviews the existing literature relevant to hollow fiber bioreactors in organ and tissue engineering applications. To this purpose, we first classify the hollow fiber bioreactors into 2 categories: cylindrical and rectangular. For each category, we summarize their main applications both at the tissue and at the organ level, focusing on experimental models and computational studies as predictive tools for designing innovative, dynamic culture systems. Finally, we discuss future perspectives on hollow fiber bioreactors as in vitro models for tissue and organ engineering applications.

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