Cell Stretching System

Physiological Simulation System in Cell Cultures

The proprietary STREX Cell Stretching System induces mechanical stimulation to cultured cells in ultra thin flexible stretch chambers

Operational Use of Model STB-140

Specialized Instruments Simulate Physiological Conditions in Cell Cultures

Living cells exist in a dynamic physiological environment. They are subject to a wide range of mechanical stimuli such as stretch and compression.

Cells can detect their mechanical environment through mechanoreceptors. They respond to the action of these stimuli by altering their adhesion, proliferation, locomotion, morphology, and synthetic profile.

Yet, none of the stimuli from the living environment is present under standard in vitro conditions for cell culture and analysis.

The STREX Cell Stretching System mechanically stimulates cells growing in culture by stretching and compressing them. Thereby providing an environment like the one in which living cells exist.

This system allows you to explain the mechanisms by which cells convert mechanical signals into biochemical responses, in vitro.

  • Uniform Load: Every cell is subjected to nearly uniform strain along the stretch axis (<5% variability). In the non-axial direction, the secondary load is much weaker.
  • High reproducibility
    The high-precision, high-torque stepping motor in the stretch unit enables stable motion at a range of speeds, from extremely low velocity to high velocity. This motion stability, combined with the superior characteristics of the silicone film chamber, produces mechanical stretching that is highly reproducible.
  • Wide range of stretch patterns
    The system can be configured for eight different settings for the stretch ratio — the degree of stretch desired — and eight for the repetition frequency of the stretch movement. There are 64 possible stretching patterns in all.
  • Unique stretch chamber
    Specially developed silicone film chamber facilitates a variety of lab analysis techniques, including cell fixation and fluorescent imaging.

Extracellular matrix coatings applied to the stretch chamber promote cell adhesion and facilitate cell culture. The adhered cells are then stretched and compressed in culture. Versions of the system that mount on microscope stages enable real-time observation of the changes that the cells manifest in response to these applied stress loads.

endothelial-cellEXPERIMENTAL FLOW
1. Cells are seeded onto a stretch chamber pre-treated with an extracellular matrix coating.
2. Cells adhere to the stretch chamber.
3. Stretching begins. Cells are stretched as specified by the selected stretch pattern.
4. Cell observation is conducted. (Cells in culture can be observed under the microscope.)
5. Cells are harvested/treated in accordance with the objectives of the experiment.

Note: Supported applications vary, depending on the instrument employed.

  • Biochemical experiments: Alteration of gene and protein expression; signal transmission 9 Cell extract recovery and analysis (Northern blotting; Western blotting)
  • Cell biology experiments: Cytoskeleton and cytoplasm rearrangement → Observation of fixed and stained cells
  • Cell physiology experiments: Ion flux → Real-time observation of Ca2+influx, NO production, etc