Cells in the human body are constantly subjected to mechanical forces. The field of Mechanobiology explores the mechanisms by which cells perceive and respond to mechanical stimuli to determine how changes in loading can alter tissue physiology. Controlled in vitro systems for stretching cells on 2D compliant substrates are generally capable of applying either uniaxial or equibiaxial loading, but cannot switch between modes of stretching. Further, the region of uniform stretch is quite small, and often not well characterized. To address these shortcomings, a computerized mechanical actuating system and flexible PDMS cell culture well optimized for uniformity of deformation were developed to facilitate multi-axial stretching of isolated cells at high strain rates on a microscope stage.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Major Qualifying Project
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