Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
The productivity of bioengineered cell factories is limited by inefficiencies in nutrient delivery and waste and product removal. Current solution approaches explore changes in the physical configurations of the bioreactors. This work investigates the possibilities of exploiting self-organizing vascular networks to support producer cells within the factory. A computational model simulates de novo vascular development of endothelial-like cells and the resultant network functioning to deliver nutrients and extract product and waste from the cell culture. Microbial factories with vascular networks are evaluated for their scalability, robustness, and productivity compared to the cell factories without a vascular network. Initial studies demonstrate that at least an order of magnitude increase in production is possible, the system can be scaled up, and the self-organization of an efficient vascular network is robust. The work suggests that bioengineered multicellularity may offer efficiency improvements difficult to achieve with physical engineering approaches.
Davis D, Doloman A, Podgorski GJ, Vargis E, NS Flann+. Exploiting Self-Organization in Bioengineered Systems: A Computational Approach. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology 5: (27)