The development of an in vitro flow simulation device to study the effects of arterial shear stress profiles on endotheilial cells
Coleman, Sarah Elizabeth
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Mechanical forces are important regulators of cell function in many tissues including, for example, bone and components of the cardiovascular system. The endothelial lining of blood vessels has been shown to respond in an atheroprotective manner to unidirectional, laminar flow-induced shear stress and in an atherogenic manner to oscillating and low levels of shear. We have developed a cone and plate shear apparatus to simulate fluid shear stress on endothelial cells in vitro. The significant feature of this apparatus is that, unlike other in vitro flow systems, it accurately produces varying levels of shear stress, consistent with those created in vivo during the cardiac cycle. Flow characteristics of this system were verified by computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and laser Doppler velocimetry (LDV). Cellular responses were monitored by cell morphology and protein expression. These responses are consistent with in vivo responses as well as previous work using other in vitro flow systems.