Design and validation of a device for the mechanical stimulation of bioengineered 3D neo-tissue constructs

Jonathan T. Slocum, Peter Ascoli, Nicholas Bandiera, Benjamin Katz, Swati Kataria, Marshall Wentworth, Nelson Monteiro, Elizabeth Smith, Kenneth Weekes, Brian Johnstone, Pamela C. Yelick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A mechanical stimulation device for cell-seeded scaffolds was designed and manufactured to provide control of dynamic compressive loading on biomimetic 3D neo-tissue constructs for enhanced tissue regeneration. Despite emerging evidence implicating the importance of mechanical forces in directing cellular differentiation and dental tissue formation, the role of variable mechanical stimuli in developing dental tissue has not been fully investigated. The device described here was designed to be easily cleanable by technicians and scientists between individual tests providing repeatable displacement of gels for their experiments. Increased extracellular matrix production of temporomandibular joints (TMJ – the joints that connect the jawbone to the skull) was observed while under loading by the device and the device is capable of providing compression as low as 0.01 mm of the desired displacement. Force calibration and sterilization testing were also performed to validate the functional requirements and device performance. The preliminary results show that the resulting device can deliver up to 2 kPa of dynamic compressive pressure to bioengineer cell-based constructs, and that ethanol sterilization is sufficient to maintain a sterile environment in long term tissue culture. In this paper, we introduce a device to mechanically stimulate bioengineered tissue formation, which could be used for a variety of applications in regenerative medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-137
Number of pages9
JournalPrecision Engineering
StatePublished - Jul 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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