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Exp Cell Res. 2006 Feb 15;312(4):423-33. Epub 2005 Dec 6.

The origins and regulation of tissue tension: identification of collagen tension-fixation process in vitro.

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University College London, RFUCMS, Tissue Repair and Engineering Centre, Institute of Orthopaedics, RNOH, Stanmore Campus, London HA7 4LP, UK.


The absence of a controllable in vitro model of soft tissue remodeling is a major impediment, limiting our understanding of collagen pathologies, tissue repair and engineering. Using 3D fibroblast-collagen lattice model, we have quantified changes in matrix tension and material properties following remodeling by blockade of cell-generated tension with cytochalasin D. This demonstrated a time-dependent shortening of the collagen network, progressively stabilized into a built-in tension within the matrix. This was differentially enhanced by TGFB1 and mechanical loading to give subtle control of the new, remodeled matrix material properties. Through this model, we have been able to identify the 'tension remodeling' process, by which cells control material properties in response to environmental factors.

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