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PLoS One. 2010 Sep 17;5(9). pii: e12796. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012796.

In situ spatiotemporal mapping of flow fields around seeded stem cells at the subcellular length scale.

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1
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

Abstract

A major hurdle to understanding and exploiting interactions between the stem cell and its environment is the lack of a tool for precise delivery of mechanical cues concomitant to observing sub-cellular adaptation of structure. These studies demonstrate the use of microscale particle image velocimetry (μ-PIV) for in situ spatiotemporal mapping of flow fields around mesenchymal stem cells, i.e. murine embryonic multipotent cell line C3H10T1/2, at the subcellular length scale, providing a tool for real time observation and analysis of stem cell adaptation to the prevailing mechanical milieu. In the absence of cells, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) predicts flow regimes within 12% of μ-PIV measures, achieving the technical specifications of the chamber and the flow rates necessary to deliver target shear stresses at a particular height from the base of the flow chamber. However, our μ-PIV studies show that the presence of cells per se as well as the density at which cells are seeded significantly influences local flow fields. Furthermore, for any given cell or cell seeding density, flow regimes vary significantly along the vertical profile of the cell. Hence, the mechanical milieu of the stem cell exposed to shape changing shear stresses, induced by fluid drag, varies with respect to proximity of surrounding cells as well as with respect to apical height. The current study addresses a previously unmet need to predict and observe both flow regimes as well as mechanoadaptation of cells in flow chambers designed to deliver precisely controlled mechanical signals to live cells. An understanding of interactions and adaptation in response to forces at the interface between the surface of the cell and its immediate local environment may be key for de novo engineering of functional tissues from stem cell templates as well as for unraveling the mechanisms underlying multiscale development, growth and adaptation of organisms.

PMID:
20862249
PMCID:
PMC2941457
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0012796
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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