Muscle-on-chip devices aim to recapitulate the physiological characteristics of in vivo muscle tissue and so maintaining levels of oxygen transported to cells is essential for cell survival and for providing the normoxic conditions experienced in vivo. We use finite-element method numerical modelling to describe oxygen transport and reaction in a proposed three-dimensional muscle-on-chip bioreactor with embedded channels for muscle cells and growth medium. We determine the feasibility of ensuring adequate oxygen for muscle cell survival in a device sealed from external oxygen sources and perfused via medium channels. We investigate the effects of varying elements of the bioreactor design on oxygen transport to optimize muscle tissue yield and maintain normoxic conditions. Successful co-culturing of muscle cells with motor neurons can boost muscle tissue function and so we estimate the maximum density of seeded neurons supported by oxygen concentrations within the bioreactor. We show that an enclosed bioreactor can provide sufficient oxygen for muscle cell survival and growth. We define a more efficient arrangement of muscle and perfusion chambers that can sustain a predicted 50% increase in maximum muscle volume per perfusion vessel. A study of simulated bioreactors provides functions for predicting bioreactor designs with normoxic conditions for any size of perfusion vessel, muscle chamber and distance between chambers.
- tissue engineering