An Electromagnetically Actuated Double-Sided Cell-Stretching Device for Mechanobiology Research
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Cellular response to mechanical stimuli is an integral part of cell homeostasis. The interaction of the extracellular matrix with the mechanical stress plays an important role in cytoskeleton organisation and cell alignment. Insights from the response can be utilised to develop cell culture methods that achieve predefined cell patterns, which are critical for tissue remodelling and cell therapy. We report the working principle, design, simulation, and characterisation of a novel electromagnetic cell stretching platform based on the double-sided axial stretching approach. The device is capable of introducing a cyclic and static strain pattern on a cell culture. The platform was tested with fibroblasts. The experimental results are consistent with the previously reported cytoskeleton reorganisation and cell reorientation induced by strain. Our observations suggest that the cell orientation is highly influenced by external mechanical cues. Cells reorganise their cytoskeletons to avoid external strain and to maintain intact extracellular matrix arrangements.
© 2017 The Author(s). Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Biomedical Engineering not elsewhere classified