Acta Mechanica Solida Sinica

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 307–319 | Cite as

Finite Element Analysis of Cardiac Myocyte Debonding and Reorientation During Cyclic Substrate Stretch Experiments

  • Tao Tang
  • Jun Qiu
  • Meng Zhang
  • Zhuo Zhuang


The substrate stretch experiment, which is carried out on several kinds of adherent cells, is usually used to catch the physiological variation and morphological response to cyclic substrate deformation. In this paper, stretch loading was exerted on cardiac myocytes cultured on silica substrates using a custom-made substrate stretch device. The effect of stretch on the alignment orientation of cardiac myocytes was studied through morphocytological statistics. Under cyclic stretch stimulus, the long axes of cardiac myocytes oriented perpendicularly to the stretch direction for continuous stretch acting. However, the mechanism underlying these behaviors is not well understood from such in vitro tests. Finite element (FE) model was developed in the analysis to investigate these behaviors. Xu-Needleman formulation was used to define the interaction behavior for contact surfaces between cell and substrate. The role of cell viscoelasticity nature is studied in adherent cell debonding with the substrate and aligning perpendicular to the stretch direction during long time cyclic stretch stimulation. There were four different strain magnitudes considered in the simulation to find out the cell debonding affected by the cyclic strains. The potential role of cyclic strain frequency in regulating cell debonding and alignment was also studied using FE analysis.

Key words

cardiac myocyte cyclic substrate stretch cell adhesion finite element 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. [1]
    Takemasa, T., Sugimoto, K. and Yamashita, K., Amplitude dependent stress fiber reorientation in early response to cyclic strain. Experimental Cell Research, 1997, 230: 407–410.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. [2]
    Takemasa, T., Yamaguchi, T., Yamamoto, Y., Sugimoto, K. and Yamashita, K., Oblique alignment of stress fibers in cells reduces the mechanical stress in cyclically deforming fields. European Journal of Cell Biology, 1998, 77: 91–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. [3]
    Wang, J.H.C., Goldschmidt-Clermont, P. and Yin, F.C.P., Contractility affects stress fiber remodeling and reorientation of endothelial cells subjected to cyclic mechanical stretch. Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 2000, 28: 1165–1171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. [4]
    Standley, P.R., Cammarata, A., Nolan, B.P., Purgason, C.T. and Stanley, M.A., Cyclic stretch induces vascular smooth muscle cell alignment via NO signaling. American Journal of Physiology: Heart and Circulatory Physiology, 2002, 283: 1907–1914.Google Scholar
  5. [5]
    Cunningham, J.J., Linderman, J.J. and Mooney, D.J., Externally applied cyclic strain regulates localization of focal contact components in cultured smooth muscle cells. Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 2002, 30: 927–935.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. [6]
    Simpson, D.G., Sharp, W.W., Borg, T.K., Price, R.L., Samarel, A.M. and Terracio, L., Mechanical regulation of cardiac myofibrillar structure. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1995, 752: 131–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. [7]
    Sadoshima, J., Jahn, L., Takahashi, T., Kulik, T.J. and Izumo, S., Molecular characterization of the stretch-induced adaptation of cultured cardiac cells. An in vitro model of load-induced cardiac hypertrophy. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 1992, 267: 10551–10560.Google Scholar
  8. [8]
    Ruwhof, C. and Laarse, A. van der, Mechanical stress-induced cardiac hypertrophy: mechanisms and signal transduction pathways. Cardiovascular Research, 2000, 47: 23–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. [9]
    Shirinsky, V.P., Antonov, A.S., Birukov, K.G., Sobolevsky, A.V., Romanov, Y.A., Kabaeva, N.V., Antonova, G.N. and Smirnov, V.N., Mechanochemical control of human endothelium orientation and size. The Journal of Cell Biology, 1989 109: 331–339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. [10]
    Hayakawa, K., Hosokawa, A., Yabusaki, K. and Obinata, T., Orientation of smooth muscle-derived A10 cells in culture by cyclic stretching: Relationship between stress fiber rearrangement and cell reorientation. Zoological Science, 2000, 17: 617–624.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. [11]
    Hayakawa, K., Sato, N. and Obinata, T., Dynamic Reorientation of Cultured Cells and Stress Fibers under Mechanical Stress from Periodic Stretching. Experimental Cell Research, 2001, 268: 104–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. [12]
    Wang, N. and Ingber, D.E., Control of cytoskeletal mechanics by extracellular matrix, cell shape, and mechanical tension. Biophysical Journal, 1994, 66: 2181–2189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. [13]
    Iba, T. and Sumpio, B.E., Morphological response of human endothelial cells subjected to cyclic strain in vitro. Microvascular Research, 1991, 42: 245–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. [14]
    Spector, D.L. (ed), Goldman, R.D. and Leinwand, L.A., Cells: A Laboratory Manual. America: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 1998.Google Scholar
  15. [15]
    Guilak, F., Erickson, G.R. and Ting-Beall, H.P., The effects of osmotic stress on the viscoelastic and physical properties of articular chondrocytes. Biophysical Journal, 2002, 82: 720–727.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. [16]
    Fung, Y.C., Foundations of Solid Mechanics. New York: Prentice-Hall Inc., 1965.Google Scholar
  17. [17]
    Ferry, J.D., Viscoelastic Properties of Polymers, 3rd edition. New York: Wiley, 1980.Google Scholar
  18. [18]
    ABAQUS, ABAQUS User’s Manual Version 6.4. USA: ABAQUS, Inc., 2003.Google Scholar
  19. [19]
    Fang, H.R., Tang, T., Zhang, X.M. and Zhuang, Z., Development on the visco-elastic constitutive model of cardiac muscle based on experiment. Acta Mechanica Sinica, 2008, 40(3): 355–363 (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  20. [20]
    Lieber, S.C., Aubry, N., Pain, J., Diaz, G., Kim, S.J. and Vatner, S.F., Aging increases stiffness of cardiac myocytes measured by atomic force microscopy nanoindentation. American Journal of Physiology: Heart and Circulatory Physiology, 2004, 287: H645–H651.Google Scholar
  21. [21]
    Xu, X.P. and Needleman, A., Void nucleation by inclusion debonding in crystal matrix. Modelling and Simulation in Materials Science and Engineering, 1993, 1: 111–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. [22]
    Chan, B.P., Bhat, V.D., Yegnasubramanian, S., Reichert, W.M. and Truskey, G.A., An equilibrium model of endothelial cell adhesion via integrin-dependent and integrin-independent ligands. Biomaterials, 1999, 20: 2395–2403.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. [23]
    Dong, C. and Lei, X., Biomechanics of cell rolling: shear flow, cell-surface adhesion, and cell deformability. Journal of Biomechanics, 2000, 33: 35–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Chinese Society of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics and Technology 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of AerospaceTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations