Flow Chamber System for Evaluation of Effect of Shear on Cells

Haruka Iwata, Aki Nakajima, and Shigehiro Hashimoto


Tissue Engineering, Biomechanics, Muscle Cell, Computed Tomography


Methodology has been designed with a micro-flow-chamber to examine critical values of shear stress for deformation and for exfoliation of cultured cells in vitro. The thin sheet of silicone rubber was sandwiched by two plates of transparent glass to form a rectangular parallelepiped flow channel of 2 mm width × 52 mm length × 0.1 mm depth. Behaviour of cells on the plate was observed under a flow of a medium with an inverted phase contrast microscope. The shear stress on cells is calculated with an estimated parabolic velocity profile between parallel plates. After several cells adhered to the glass plate, the shear stress was applied on the cells with the medium flow. The flow rate of the medium was elevated step by step from 4 ml/hour to 60 ml/hour with the syringe pump to examine the critical value of the shear stress between 0.3 Pa and 6 Pa. Myoblasts, skeletal muscle cells, smooth muscle cells and chondrocytes were examined in the methodology. The experimental results show that both deformation and exfoliation of cells can be observed and that the critical value of the shear stress can be estimated with the flow chamber system.

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