Development of fibroblast-seeded collagen gels under planar biaxial mechanical constraints: A biomechanical study

Jin-Jia Hu*, Yen Ching Liu, Guan Wen Chen, Mei Xuan Wang, Pei Yuan Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Prior studies indicated that mechanical loading influences cell turnover and matrix remodeling in tissues, suggesting that mechanical stimuli can play an active role in engineering artificial tissues. While most tissue culture studies focus on influence of uniaxial loading or constraints, effects of multi-axial loading or constraints on tissue development are far from clear. In this study, we examined the biaxial mechanical properties of fibroblast-seeded collagen gels cultured under four different mechanical constraints for 6 days: free-floating, equibiaxial stretching (with three different stretch ratios), strip-biaxial stretching, and uniaxial stretching. Passive mechanical behavior of the cell-seeded gels was also examined after decellularization. A continuum-based two-dimensional Fung model was used to quantify the mechanical behavior of the gel. Based on the model, the value of stored strain energy and the ratio of stiffness in the stretching directions were calculated at prescribed strains for each gel, and statistical comparisons were made among the gels cultured under the various mechanical constraints. Results showed that gels cultured under the free-floating and equibiaxial stretching conditions exhibited a nearly isotropic mechanical behavior, while gels cultured under the strip-biaxial and uniaxial stretching conditions developed a significant degree of mechanical anisotropy. In particular, gels cultured under the equibiaxial stretching condition with a greater stretch ratio appeared to be stiffer than those with a smaller stretch ratio. Also, a decellularized gel was stiffer than its non-decellularized counterpart. Finally, the retained mechanical anisotropy in gels cultured under the strip-biaxial stretching and uniaxial stretching conditions after cell removal reflected an irreversible matrix remodeling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)849-868
Number of pages20
JournalBiomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology
Volume12
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2013

Keywords

  • Biaxial mechanical testing
  • Constitutive modeling
  • Fibroblast-seeded collagen gels
  • Mechanical anisotropy
  • Mechanical constraints
  • Tissue development

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