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Biomaterials. 2008 Jun;29(17):2646-55. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2008.02.019. Epub 2008 Mar 14.

Individually programmable cell stretching microwell arrays actuated by a Braille display.

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1
Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.

Abstract

Cell culture systems are often static and are therefore nonphysiological. In vivo, many cells are exposed to dynamic surroundings that stimulate cellular responses in a process known as mechanotransduction. To recreate this environment, stretchable cell culture substrate systems have been developed, however, these systems are limited by being macroscopic and low throughput. We have developed a device consisting of 24 miniature cell stretching chambers with flexible bottom membranes that are deformed using the computer-controlled, piezoelectrically actuated pins of a Braille display. We have also developed efficient image capture and analysis protocols to quantify morphological responses of the cells to applied strain. Human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HDMECs) were found to show increasing degrees of alignment and elongation perpendicular to the radial strain in response to cyclic stretch at increasing frequencies of 0.2, 1, and 5 Hz, after 2, 4, and 12h. Mouse myogenic C2C12 cells were also found to align in response to the stretch, while A549 human lung adenocarcinoma epithelial cells did not respond to stretch.

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