Mechanical forces have been shown to be important stimuli for the determination and maintenance of cellular phenotype and function. Many cells are constantly exposed in vivo to cyclic pressure, shear stress, and/or strain. Therefore, the ability to study the effects of these stimuli in vitro is important for understanding how they contribute to both normal and pathologic states. While there exist commercial as well as custom-built devices for the extended application of cyclic strain and shear stress, very few cyclic pressure systems have been reported to apply stimulation longer than . However, pertinent responses of cells to mechanical stimulation may occur later than this. To address this limitation, we have designed a new cyclic hydrostatic pressure system based upon the following design variables: minimal size, stability of pressure and humidity, maximal accessibility, and versatility. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) was utilized to predict the pressure and potential shear stress within the chamber during the first half of a duty cycle. To biologically validate our system, we tested the response of bone marrow progenitor cells (BMPCs) from Sprague Dawley rats to a cyclic pressure stimulation of Hg, for . Cellular morphology was measured using Scion Image, and cellular proliferation was measured by counting nuclei in ten fields of view. CFD results showed a constant pressure across the length of the chamber and no shear stress developed at the base of the chamber where the cells are cultured. BMPCs from Sprague Dawley rats demonstrated a significant change in morphology versus controls by reducing their size and adopting a more rounded morphology. Furthermore, these cells increased their proliferation under cyclic hydrostatic pressure. We have demonstrated that our system imparts a single mechanical stimulus of cyclic hydrostatic pressure and is capable of at least of continuous operation without affecting cellular viability. Furthermore, we have shown for the first time that BMPCs respond to cyclic hydrostatic pressure by alterations in morphology and increased proliferation.
A New Experimental System for the Extended Application of Cyclic Hydrostatic Pressure to Cell Culture
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Maul, T. M., Hamilton, D. W., Nieponice, A., Soletti, L., and Vorp, D. A. (June 23, 2006). "A New Experimental System for the Extended Application of Cyclic Hydrostatic Pressure to Cell Culture." ASME. J Biomech Eng. February 2007; 129(1): 110–116. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.2401190
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