Vital maintenance: Tissue Culture & Art

Biodegradable polymer scaffolds are sterilised in ethylene oxide at 55°C for two hours. These constructs are then seeded with cells from the McCoy cell line, originally derived from fluid in the knee joint of a patient suffering from degenerative arthritis, but now classified primarily as mouse endothelial cells. Remaining for three weeks in a carbon dioxide incubator kept at the human body temperature of 37°C, the proliferated cells begin to largely cover the polymer surfaces, growing through the porosity of the synthetic scaffold, and held together by surgical sutures. The tissues expand to approximately 10 mm tall by 7 mm wide, within a rotating bioreactor that provides the conditions of micro-gravity so as to encourage three-dimensional growth.

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