The evaluation and comparison of the elastic modulus of mechanically motivated and pure rabbit mesenchymal stem cell with mature chondrocytes

Shahrokh Shojaei, Amir Shirazian, Azadeh Jahanbakhsh, Hanie Kavand, Nooshin Haghighipour


Different cells are located in different anatomical location of the body and consequently they are exposed to different mechanical forces. Chondrocytes which form the cartilage tissue are located in articular joints like knee and each day they are influenced by intermittent hydrostatic pressure of thousands of times. Mechanical stimulations of cells have vital contributions on acquisition of functional characteristics and elasticity of the cells which is define by elastic modulus is one the most imperative mechanical properties. The arrangement and organization of actin fibers in cytoskeleton can determine the elasticity of cells and it has been illustrated that it plays a pivotal role in some important cellular activities such as motility or cell to cell interaction. In this research the stem cells and mature chondrocytes were extracted from rabbit adipose and cartilage tissue respectively and cultured till the passage of three. A unique bioreactor which was previously designed and manufactured was used to apply intermittent hydrostatic pressure (0-1 MPa, 0.5 Hz) to Rabbit Mesenchymal Stem Cells (RMSCs). After the application of forces the elastic modulus of different groups of cells were assessed and compared by atomic force microscopy. The results demonstrated that application of hydrostatic pressure can modify the elastic modulus of stem cells and make them more resemble to mature chondrocytes. The result of this paper can be important for applications of cartilage tissue engineering.

Full Text:



C. Y. Li, K. R. Stevens, R. E. Schwartz, B. S. Alejandro, J. H. Huang, and S. N. Bhatia (2014) Micropatterned cell–cell interactions enable functional encapsulation of primary hepatocytes in hydrogel microtissues. Tissue. Eng. Part A. 20(15-16): 2200-2212.

F. Guo, P. Li, J. B. French, Z. Mao, H. Zhao, S. Li, N. Nama, J. R. Fick, S. J. Benkovic, and T. J. Huang (2015) Controlling cell–cell interactions using surface acoustic waves. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 112(1): 43-48.

R. K. Jain, J. D. Martin, and T. Stylianopoulos (2014) The role of mechanical forces in tumor growth and therapy. Annu. Rev. Biomed. Eng. 16: 321-346.

J. Hatami, M. Tafazzoli-Shadpour, N. Haghighipour, M. Shokrgozar, and M. Janmaleki (2013) Influence of cyclic stretch on mechanical properties of endothelial cells. Experimental Mechanics. 53(8): 1291-1298.

N. Haghighipour, M. Tafazzoli-Shadpour, M. A. Shokrgozar, S. Amini, A. Amanzadeh, and M. T. Khorasani (2007) Topological remodeling of cultured endothelial cells by characterized cyclic strains. Mol. Cell. Biomech. 4(4): 189.

F. Kabirian, G. Amoabediny, N. Haghighipour, N. Salehi‐Nik, and B. Zandieh‐Doulabi (2015) Nitric oxide secretion by endothelial cells in response to fluid shear stress, aspirin, and temperature. J. Biomed. Mater. Res. A. 103(3): 1231-1237.

G. Duraine and K. A. Athanasiou (2015) ERK activation is required for hydrostatic pressure‐induced tensile changes in engineered articular cartilage. J Tissue Eng Regen Med. 9(4): 368-374.

F. Safshekan, M. T. Shadpour, M. A. Shokrgozar, N. Haghighipour, and S. H. Alavi (2014) Effects of short-term cyclic hydrostatic pressure on initiating and enhancing the expression of chondrogenic genes in human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells. J. Mech. Med. Biol. 14(04): 1450054.

P. Cahan, H. Li, S. A. Morris, E. L. da Rocha, G. Q. Daley, and J. J. Collins (2014) CellNet: network biology applied to stem cell engineering. Cell. 158(4): 903-915.

S. Shojaei, M. Tafazzoli-Shahdpour, M. A. Shokrgozar, and N. Haghighipour (2013) Effects of mechanical and chemical stimuli on differentiation of human adipose-derived stem cells into endothelial cells. Int. J. Artif. Organs. 36(9): 663-673.

J. Kim, B. Lin, S. Kim, B. Choi, D. Evseenko, and M. Lee (2015) TGF-β1 conjugated chitosan collagen hydrogels induce chondrogenic differentiation of human synovium-derived stem cells. J. Biol. Eng. 9(1): 1.

L. Blanchoin, R. Boujemaa-Paterski, C. Sykes, and J. Plastino (2014) Actin dynamics, architecture, and mechanics in cell motility. Physiol Rev. 94(1): 235-263.

T. Vallenius (2013) Actin stress fibre subtypes in mesenchymal-migrating cells. Open biology. 3(6): 130001.

W. Ronan, V. S. Deshpande, R. M. McMeeking, and J. P. McGarry (2014) Cellular contractility and substrate elasticity: a numerical investigation of the actin cytoskeleton and cell adhesion. Biomech. Model. Mechanobiol. 13(2): 417-435.

C. Tamiello, C. V. Bouten, and F. P. Baaijens (2015) Competition between cap and basal actin fiber orientation in cells subjected to contact guidance and cyclic strain. Scientific reports. 5: 8752.

H. Schnittler, M. Taha, M. O. Schnittler, A. A. Taha, N. Lindemann, and J. Seebach (2014) Actin filament dynamics and endothelial cell junctions: the Ying and Yang between stabilization and motion. Cell Tissue Res. 355(3): 529-543.

J. Rother, H. Nöding, I. Mey, and A. Janshoff (2014) Atomic force microscopy-based microrheology reveals significant differences in the viscoelastic response between malign and benign cell lines. Open biology. 4(5): 140046.

M. E. Grady, R. J. Composto, and D. M. Eckmann (2016) Cell elasticity with altered cytoskeletal architectures across multiple cell types. J. Mech. Behav. Biomed. Mater. 61: 197-207.

G. Esteban-Manzanares, B. González-Bermúdez, J. Cruces, M. De la Fuente, Q. Li, G. V. Guinea, J. Pérez-Rigueiro, M. Elices, and G. R. Plaza (2017) Improved Measurement of Elastic Properties of Cells by Micropipette Aspiration and Its Application to Lymphocytes. Ann. Biomed. Eng.: 1-11.

J.-F. Berret (2016) Local viscoelasticity of living cells measured by rotational magnetic spectroscopy. Nature communications. 7.

K. B. Roth, C. D. Eggleton, K. B. Neeves, and D. W. Marr (2013) Measuring cell mechanics by optical alignment compression cytometry. Lab on a Chip. 13(8): 1571-1577.

L. Rebelo, J. De Sousa, J. Mendes Filho, and M. Radmacher (2013) Comparison of the viscoelastic properties of cells from different kidney cancer phenotypes measured with atomic force microscopy. Nanotechnology. 24(5): 055102.

K. Haase and A. E. Pelling (2015) Investigating cell mechanics with atomic force microscopy. J R Soc Interface. 12(104): 20140970.

A. Karkhaneh, Z. Naghizadeh, M. A. Shokrgozar, S. Bonakdar, A. Solouk, and N. Haghighipour (2014) Effects of hydrostatic pressure on biosynthetic activity during chondrogenic differentiation of MSCs in hybrid scaffolds. Int J Artif Organs. 37(2): 142-148.

S. Amin, S. E. Banijamali, M. Tafazoli‐Shadpour, M. A. Shokrgozar, M. M. Dehghan, N. Haghighipour, R. Mahdian, V. Bayati, and P. Abbasnia (2014) Comparing the effect of equiaxial cyclic mechanical stimulation on GATA4 expression in adipose‐derived and bone marrow‐derived mesenchymal stem cells. Cell Biol Int. 38(2): 219-227.

Y. F. Dufrêne and A. E. Pelling (2013) Force nanoscopy of cell mechanics and cell adhesion. Nanoscale. 5(10): 4094-4104.

M.-M. Khani, M. Tafazzoli-Shadpour, Z. Goli-Malekabadi, and N. Haghighipour (2015) Mechanical characterization of human mesenchymal stem cells subjected to cyclic uniaxial strain and TGF-β1. J. Mech. Behav. Biomed. Mater. 43: 18-25.

M. Lekka, K. Pogoda, J. Gostek, O. Klymenko, S. Prauzner-Bechcicki, J. Wiltowska-Zuber, J. Jaczewska, J. Lekki, and Z. Stachura (2012) Cancer cell recognition–mechanical phenotype. Micron. 43(12): 1259-1266.

T. Yeung, P. C. Georges, L. A. Flanagan, B. Marg, M. Ortiz, M. Funaki, N. Zahir, W. Ming, V. Weaver, and P. A. Janmey (2005) Effects of substrate stiffness on cell morphology, cytoskeletal structure, and adhesion. Cell Motil Cytoskeleton. 60(1): 24-34.

S. Jalali, M. Tafazzoli-Shadpour, N. Haghighipour, R. Omidvar, and F. Safshekan (2015) Regulation of Endothelial Cell Adherence and Elastic Modulus by Substrate Stiffness. Cell. Commun. Adhes. 22(2-6): 79-89.


  • There are currently no refbacks.