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Issue 52, 2020, Issue in Progress
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The flow limiting operator: a new approach to environmental control in flow bioreactors

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Abstract

Bioreactors have become a critical step for the testing of new biomaterials and pharmaceuticals. They need to be controllable, ideally high-throughput, and produce a biologically relevant environment. For example, in the brain, it is essential to recreate multiple flow–pressure profiles daily and mimic brain fluid movement for a bioreactor to be more physiologic. In this study, we demonstrate a scalable system that regulates flow rate, pressure, and pulsation amplitude. We also show that with new microcontroller technology, up to 15 chambers running in parallel is theoretically possible. Our system, the Flow Limiting Operator (FLO), achieves these goals by multiplexing a series of valves and pumps to control pressure and volumetric flow rate instead of relying on head gas pressure. With the ability to control multiple parameters and its ease of use, both scientists and clinicians can use FLO to study the effects of pulsation amplitude of the fluid flow, flow rate, and pressure on intercellular interactions for both biomaterials and pharmaceuticals.

Graphical abstract: The flow limiting operator: a new approach to environmental control in flow bioreactors

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Article information


Submitted
10 Jun 2020
Accepted
28 Jul 2020
First published
26 Aug 2020

This article is Open Access

RSC Adv., 2020,10, 31056-31064
Article type
Paper

The flow limiting operator: a new approach to environmental control in flow bioreactors

J. Horbatiuk, L. Alazzawi and C. A. Harris, RSC Adv., 2020, 10, 31056
DOI: 10.1039/D0RA05128D

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material and it is not used for commercial purposes.

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    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the RSC.
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    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the European Society for Photobiology, the European Photochemistry Association, and RSC.
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    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

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