Cells in physiological systems are constantly subjected to mechanical forces which affect myriad cellular functions and contribute to pathologies. Current devices to study cellular responses to strain in vitro have drawbacks including the inability to analyze cellular responses in “real-time”, non-uniform strains patterns, and limited operation time (<6 hr). To overcome these limitations, a novel stretch device was developed using four linear motors and a novel silicone culture well. The device is capable of cyclic stretching of cells biaxially up to 30% strain in either or both of two orthogonal axes at 0.01 to 1 Hz frequency for a minimum of 6 hr during “real-time” analysis of cells under a standard inverted microscope. This new system will facilitate controlled mechanobiology studies.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Major Qualifying Project
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