Journal article

Effect of micromechanical stimulations on osteoblasts: development of a device simulating the mechanical situation at the bone-implant interface

Many experimental models have been developed to investigate the effects of mechanical stimulation of cells, but none of the existing devices can simulate micromotions at the cellular-mechanical interface with varying amplitudes and loads. Osteoblasts are sensitive to mechanical stimuli, so to study the bone-implant interface it would be important to quantify their reaction in a situation mimicking the mechanical situation arising at that interface. In this study, we present the development of a new device allowing the application of micromotions and load on cells in vitro. The new device allowed the cells to be stimulated with sinusoidal motions of amplitudes comprised between +/- 5 and +/- 50 microm, frequencies between 0.5 and 2 Hz, and loads between 50 and 1000 Pa. The device, with a total length of 20 cm, was designed to work in an incubator at 37 degrees C and 100% humidity. Expression of various bone important genes was monitored by real-time RT-PCR. Micromotions and load were shown to affect the behavior of osteoblasts by down-regulating the expression of genes necessary for the creation of organic extracellular matrix (collagen type I) as well as for genes involved in the mineralization process (osteocalcin, osteonectin). The developed device could then be used to simulate different mechanical situations at the bone-implant interface.

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