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Biomed Tech (Berl). 1997 Nov;42(11):305-9.

A cell strain system for small homogeneous strain applications.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Iowa, Iowa City 52240, USA.


A cell culture system has been developed that enables application of well characterized, homogeneously distributed cyclic strains to monolayer cell cultures. Optically clear silicone culture dishes atop Plexiglas base plates are deformed by four-point bending of flexible silicone culture wells driven in user specified strain cycle patterns using computer controlled electromagnetic linear actuators. Cyclic mechano-transduction can be induced in amplitudes of 0 to 3000 mustrain, in frequencies of 0 to 30 Hz and in any specified strain cycle pattern. The cell culture system, which contains six simultaneously driven culture wells, has been mechanically characterized by holographic interferometry, laser displacement sensor recordings of the dish surfaces, strain gauge monitoring of the base plates, and finite element modeling of the dishes on the base plates. The standard deviation of the strain amplitudes among the six simultaneously stimulated culture wells is less than 5%. The cell culture system allows accurate generation of small magnitudes of well characterized, homogeneous strain, easy handling of the culture wells, flexible setting of cyclic strain pattern parameters, simultaneous stimulation of 6 culture wells, and light microscopic observation of the cell cultures.

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