Ultrasonic Bioreactor

Ultrasonic Bioreactor

Student(s):

Ryan Richter, Biomedical Engineering

Advisor(s):

Gary Bledsoe, Ph.D., Chair and Professor of Biomedical Engineering

This project is about the design, fabrication, and testing of an ultrasound stimulation bioreactor intended to improve upon current engineered cartilage tissue used as an alternative to joint replacement surgery for people suffering from osteoarthritis. This senior project concerns using ultrasound to see its stimulating effects on human cells, which will give insight into making better in vitro tissue engineered cartilage. Ultrasound is a high frequency sound wave that will exert a pressure onto cells, which the cells will perceive as a biophysical stimulus. Then because of this stimulus, the cells will proliferate and secrete specific proteins found in cartilage tissue, such as type II collagen, at a faster rate than normal. By having more of these proteins than normal, the engineered tissues’ composition will be closer to the degenerated tissues’ original composition, and thus be better at mimicking the target tissue’s functions before degeneration.