(Dr. Paul Netizel, advisor)
"Numerical Study of a Stokes Flow through a Fibrous Porous Medium"
During cartilage culture in bioreactors, the tissue is grown on a fibrous porous medium called a scaffold. Growth factors such as extracellular-matrix production depend strongly on the flow conditions within the bioreactor, particularly the shear stress. In order to optimize tissue quality, it is important to understand the environment within the tissue construct itself. While this cannot be measured directly, one way of obtaining these results is to perform a direct numerical simulation of the flow within the porous fibrous medium.
Using a finite-difference solver of the Stokes equations, the velocity and shear stress fields are computed. These are then compared with results from a model system obtained in a prior experimental study (Casiano 2000).