Editor: Nahum Rosenberg

Mesenchymal Cell Activation by Biomechanical Stimulation and its Clinical Prospects

eBook: US $39 Special Offer (PDF + Printed Copy): US $90
Printed Copy: US $71
Library License: US $156
ISBN: 978-1-68108-200-4 (Print)
ISBN: 978-1-68108-199-1 (Online)
Year of Publication: 2016
DOI: 10.2174/97816810819911160101


The electrical response of cells to mechanical stimulus is known as mechanotransduction. This monograph is a summary of the mechanotransduction in musculoskeletal cells responsible for body tissue maintenance, support, cover and movement. While mechanotransduction is similar among these cells, there are also several important differences in mechanical parameters and cellular pathways characteristic to each cell type. Therefore, readers will have the opportunity to update their knowledge about the increasing volume of information on mechanotransduction in these cells gained from current research.

The book features a primer on general aspects of cellular biomechanics and the experimental methods and equipment commonly used for investigating cellular mechanotransduction in vitro in two dimensional cultures in which cells are adherent to plastic surfaces. Characteristic mechanotransduction pathways in mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), chondrocytes, osteoblasts and fibroblasts are described in the accompanying chapters. Finally, a description of clinical implementation of mechanical stimulation is presented with emphasis on distraction osteogenesis, involving osteoblast stimulation, and skin stretching techniques based on fibroblast stimulation.

This monograph is a useful reference for readers involved in graduate courses or basic research in cell biology and musculoskeletal physiology.


During the last two decades there have been many studies demonstrating the responses of cells of mesenchymal origin (osteoblasts, chondrocytes, fibroblasts, etc.) to mechanical stimulation. However, due to the use of various experimental methods, it has become difficult to compare the research data. Many studies implement the variations of the method of cyclic mechanical stimulation via stretchable membranes onto adherent cells, but other methods exist as well. To compare the data from different experimental methods the mechanical stimulation should be characterized by its displacement, frequency and acceleration (or by the wave shape of the applied force), but in most of the studies neither all this information nor even the common stimulation parameters for cells activation are apparent.

The previous data demonstrate that cellular deformation affects the cytoskeleton, which results in the activation of a cascade of secondary messengers that stimulate metabolic or proliferative response, i.e. mechanotransduction pathways. Unfortunately standardized biomechanical protocols for the optimal in vitro mechanical stimulation of cells are lacking. This standardization should provide all the essential biomechanical information, such as an exact specification of a mechanical force applied, and, if it is cyclic, the mechanical profile specifications should be given. Additionally information on the cell deformation is required. If this information will be provided the optimal parameters of the mechanical stimulation will be determined and the presently existing controversy regarding these parameters will be at least partially settled. This will open the opportunity for the future more effective and comparable studies for determination of the intracellular mechanisms involved in cellular mechanotransduction. However presentation of the current data and knowledge, which are derived from different biomechanical experimental methods of the cellular mechanotransduction research, should also contribute to the communication in this expanding research field.

Michael Soudry
Hillel Yafe Medical Center