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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013, Article ID 123974, 9 pages
Research Article

Design and Functional Testing of a Multichamber Perfusion Platform for Three-Dimensional Scaffolds

1Politecnico di Milano, Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria, P.zza Leonardo da Vinci 32, 20133 Milano, Italy
2Universitat Politècnica de València, Center for Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering, Camino de Vera, s/n 46022 Valencia, Spain
3Cell and Tissue Engineering Laboratory, IRCCS Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi, via R. Galeazzi 4, 20161 Milano, Italy
4Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche L. Sacco, Università di Milano, via G.B. Grassi 74, 20157 Milano, Italy

Received 28 August 2013; Accepted 7 October 2013

Academic Editors: H. Hosseinkhani and X. Ma

Copyright © 2013 Marco Piola et al. 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.


Perfusion culture systems are widely used in tissue engineering applications for enhancing cell culture viability in the core of three-dimensional scaffolds. In this work, we present a multichamber confined-flow perfusion system, designed to provide a straightforward platform for three-dimensional dynamic cell cultures. The device comprises 6 culture chambers allowing independent and simultaneous experiments in controlled conditions. Each chamber consists of three parts: a housing, a deformable scaffold-holder cartridge, and a 7 mL reservoir, which couples water-tightly with the housing compressing the cartridge. Short-term dynamic cell seeding experiments were carried out with MC3T3-E1 cells seeded into polycaprolactone porous scaffolds. Preliminary results revealed that the application of flow perfusion through the scaffold favored the penetration of the cells to its interior, producing a more homogeneous distribution of cells with respect to dropwise or injection seeding methods. The culture chamber layout was conceived with the aim of simplifying the user operations under laminar flow hood and minimizing the risks for contamination during handling and operation. Furthermore, a compact size, a small number of components, and the use of bayonet couplings ensured a simple, fast, and sterility-promoting assembling. Finally, preliminary in vitro tests proved the efficacy of the system in enhancing cell seeding efficiency, opening the way for further studies addressing long-term scaffold colonization.