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Does anyone have experience of subjecting cultured cells to mechanical stress? - (Apr/12/2012 )


I am working with conditionally immortalized human podocytes, and would like to subject them to some form of mechanical stress/pressure to recreate an environment that is 'comparable' to the glomerulus.

I'm trying to ascertain whether the idea is feasible, i.e. equipment, costing etc., before I go to my supervisor! The methods I've looked at seem quite complicated and refer to expensive software and specialised equipment. I'm hoping that someone can give me some advice; what is essential, what's not.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.



You should talk to people that do microfluidics.

I have used a 'chamber' to assess platelets under shear stress. Now platelets are no podocytes, but you could grow them on cover slips and assemble this into a chamber, or immediately grow them in a chamber. You could create pressure using a syringe pump which mimics blood flow, and can be adjusted to increase/decrease pressure.
I am not sure though if this is what you are aiming at, if it is, there are plenty commercial systems available, just google 'perfusion system'.
As for software, isn't that dependant on what you wish to assess? I have always used ImageJ for my imaging and video analysis, ImageJ is freeware.