Differential orientation of 10T1/2 mesenchymal cells on non-uniform stretch environments.
Non-uniform stress and strain fields are prevalent in many tissues in vivo, and often exacerbated by disease or injury. These mechanical gradients potentially play a role in contributing to pathological conditions, presenting a need for experimental tools to allow investigation of cell behavior within non-uniformly stimulated environments. Herein, we employ two in vitro cell-stretching devices (one previously published; one newly presented) capable of subjecting cells to cyclic, non-uniform stretches upon the surface of either a circular elastomeric membrane or a cylindrical PDMS tube. After 24 hours of cyclic stretch, 10T1/2 cells on both devices showed marked changes in long-axis orientation, with tendencies to align parallel to the direction of minimal deformation. The degree of this response varied depending on location within the stretch gradients. These results demonstrated the feasibility of conducting cell mechanobiology investigations with the two novel devices, while also highlighting the experimental capabilities of non-uniform mechanical environments for these types of studies. Such capabilities include robust data collection for developing mechanobiological dose-response curves, signal threshold identification, and potential spatial targeting for drug delivery.
Richardson, WJ; van der Voort, DD; Wilson, E; Moore, JE
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