Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing

, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 122–128 | Cite as

Effect of flow direction on the morphological responses of cultured bovine aortic endothelial cells

Cellular Engineering

Abstract

The effect of flow direction on the morphology of cultured bovine aortic endothelial cells is studied. Fully confluent endothelial cells cultured on glass were subjected to a fluid-imposed shear stress of 2 Pa for 20 min and 24 h using a parallel plate flow chamber. Experiments on shear flow exposure were performed for (i) one-way flow, (ii) reciprocating flow with a 30 min interval and (iii) alternating orthogonal flows with a 30 min interval. After flow exposure, the endothelial cells were fixed and F-actin filaments were stained with rhodamine phalloidin. Endothelial cells were observed and photographed by means of a microscope equipped with epifluorescence optics. The shape index (SI) and angle of cell orientation were measured, and F-actin distributions in the cells were statistically studied. Endothelial cells under the one-way flow condition showed marked elongation (SI=0.39±0.16, mean±S.D.) and aligned with the flow direction. In the case of the reciprocating (SI=0.63±0.14) and the alternating orthogonal flows (0.64±0.14), cells did not elongate so strongly as in the case of one-way flow. Although most cells in the reciprocating flow aligned with the flow direction, the cell axes in the alternate orthogonal flow distributed around a mean value of −45.1° with a large S.D. value. Endothelial cells can be expected to recognise the flow direction, and change their shape and F-actin structure.

Keywords

Endothelial cells Shear stress Flow direction Cell morphology F-actin filament 

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Copyright information

© IFMBE 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Mechanical EngineeringTohoku UniversitySendai, MiyagiJapan

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