Cyclic mechanical strain guides capillary-like morphology in vitro

Koennig, Darja, Wilson, Cameron, Kasper, Grit, Werner, Sascha, Lehmann, Kerstin, & Duda, Georg N. (2012) Cyclic mechanical strain guides capillary-like morphology in vitro. In 3rd TERMIS World Congress 2012, 5-8 September 2012, Vienna, Austria.

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Stretching of tissue stimulates angiogenesis but increased motion at a fracture site hinders revascularisation. In vitro studies have indicated that mechanical stimuli promote angiogenic responses in endothelial cells, but can either inhibit or enhance responses when applied directly to angiogenesis assays. We anticipated that cyclic tension applied during endothelial network assembly would increase vascular structure formation up to a certain threshold.


Fibroblast/HUVEC co-cultures were subjected to cyclic equibiaxial strain (1 Hz; 6 h/day; 7 days) using the FlexerCell FX-4000T system and limiting rings for simultaneous application of multiple strain magnitudes (0–13%). Cells were labelled using anti-PECAM-1, and image analysis provided measures of endothelial network length and numbers of junctions.


Cyclic stretching had no significant effect on the total length of endothelial networks (P > 0.2) but resulted in a strain-dependent decrease in branching and localised alignments of endothelial structures, which were in turn aligned with the supporting fibroblastic construct.


The organisation of endothelial networks under cyclic strain is dominated by structural adaptation to the supporting construct. It may be that, in fracture healing, the formation and integrity of the granulation tissue and callus is ultimately critical in revascularisation and its failure under severe strain conditions.

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ID Code: 67036
Item Type: Conference Item (Poster)
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Project funded by AO Research Fund 2009 project grant S-08-87K
Keywords: Mechanobiology, Vasculogenesis, Cyclic strain, Co-cultures
DOI: 10.1002/term.1586
ISSN: 1932-7005
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING (090300) > Biomechanical Engineering (090302)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > CARDIOVASCULAR MEDICINE AND HAEMATOLOGY (110200) > Cardiovascular Medicine and Haematology not elsewhere classified (110299)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > MEDICAL PHYSIOLOGY (111600) > Cell Physiology (111601)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 The Authors
Deposited On: 07 Feb 2014 00:18
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2017 00:46

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