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In vitro mechanobiology

Cell mechanostimulation

We have validated systems for applying cyclic mechanical stimuli to 2D cell culture using a widely available simple rocking device. We are now using this validated system to study a wide range of cell responses to normal and excessive fluid shear stress stimuli, and investigating the role of the primary cilium which we have demonstrated on tendon cells.


 shear stress profilestenocyte cilium

Tissue culture and mechanical bioreactor

We have also validated a magnetic bioreactor for applying cyclic load at up to 20 Hz to cultured tendon fascicles, and have shown effects on mechanical properties and biochemical content. We are now using this system to investigate the role of mechanical loading in tissue damage and repair.

magnetic dynamic in vitro tendon system

Tissue micro-tensile testing 

We have built a micro-tensile testing instrument enabling us to investigate tissue deformation mechanisms on the stage of the Botnar's Zeiss multiphoton microscope. We used this to investigate the location and role of elastin in tendon fascicles.

3D elastin MPM

Researchers:  Tyler Grant, Josh Kahn, Zuzana Kalivadova, Henry Hu, Russ Tucker

Collaboration:  Philippa Hulley, Colin Goding, Yiannis Ventikos, Richard Bomphrey

Funding: ORUK, EPSRC DTA, Rhodes Trust, Rosetrees Trust