A Bioreactor can be characterized as a device that uses mechanical means to influence biological processes. In tissue engineering bioreactors can be utilized to aid in the in vitro development of new tissue by providing biochemical and physical regulatory signals to cells and encouraging them to undergo differentiation to produce extracellular matrix prior to in vivo implantation.
Regulation of cell function in tissue engineering
The regulation of cell function and the growth of three dimensional tissues are major areas of focus in developing new tissue engineering techniques. In order to determine design criteria for tissue engineering, For a cell to respond to its environment extracellular signals need to be sensed, reach the nucleus, and then have to trigger the specific expression of particular genes. These extracellular signals can promote or restrain cell proliferation, migration and differentiation, trigger matrix remodelling, or promote enhanced tissue organization.