To provide theoretical guidance for the design and in vitro cultivation of bioartificial tissues, we have developed a multiscale computational model that can describe the complex interplay between cell population and mass transport dynamics that governs the growth of tissues in three-dimensional scaffolds. The model has three components: a transient partial differential equation for the simultaneous diffusion and consumption of a limiting nutrient; a cellular automaton describing cell migration, proliferation, and collision; and equations that quantify how the varying nutrient concentration modulates cell division and migration. The hybrid discrete-continuous model was parallelized and solved on a distributed-memory multicomputer to study how transport limitations affect tissue regeneration rates under conditions encountered in typical bioreactors. Simulation results show that the severity of transport limitations can be estimated by the magnitude of two dimensionless groups: the Thiele modulus and the Biot number. Key parameters including the initial seeding mode, cell migration speed, and the hydrodynamic conditions in the bioreactor are shown to affect not only the overall rate, but also the pattern of tissue growth. This study lays the groundwork for more comprehensive models that can handle mixed cell cultures, multiple nutrients and growth factors, and other cellular processes, such as cell death. © 2009 by the Biophysical Society.
Cheng, G., Markenscoff, P., & Zygourakis, K. (2009). A 3D hybrid model for tissue growth: The interplay between cell population and mass transport dynamics. Biophysical Journal, 97(2), 401–414. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpj.2009.03.067