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Biotechnol Bioeng. 1988 Oct 5;32(8):1053-60.

Shear stress induced stimulation of mammalian cell metabolism.

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Biomedical Engineering Laboratory, Department of Chemical Engineering, Rice University, P.O. Box 1892, Houston, Texas 77251.


A flow apparatus has been developed for the study of the metabolic response of anchorage-dependent cells to a wide range of steady and pulsatile shear stresses under well-controlled conditions. Human umbilical vein endothelial cell monolayers were subjected to steady shear stresses of up to 24 dynes/cm(2), and the production of prostacyclin was determined. The onset of flow led to a burst in prostacyclin production which decayed to a long term steady state rate (SSR). The SSR of cells exposed to flow was greater than the basal release level, and increased linearly with increasing shear stress. This study demonstrates that shear stress in certain ranges may not be detrimental to mammalian cell metabolism. In fact, throughout the range of shear stresses studied, metabolite production is maximized by maximizing shear stress.


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