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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 762570, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/762570
Research Article

The Study of the Frequency Effect of Dynamic Compressive Loading on Primary Articular Chondrocyte Functions Using a Microcell Culture System

1School of Medicine, Chang Gung University, 259 Wen-Hwa 1st Road, Gueishan Township, Taoyuan County 333, Taiwan
2Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Linko, 5 Fusing St., Gueishan Township, Taoyuan County 333, Taiwan
3Graduate Institute of Biochemical and Biomedical Engineering, Chang Gung University, 259 Wen-Hwa 1st Road, Gueishan Township, Taoyuan County 333, Taiwan
4Graduate Institute of Chemical and Materials Engineering, Chang Gung University, 259 Wen-Hwa 1st Road, Gueishan Township, Taoyuan County 333, Taiwan

Received 3 December 2013; Revised 12 March 2014; Accepted 17 March 2014; Published 16 April 2014

Academic Editor: Nihal Engin Vrana

Copyright © 2014 Wan-Ying Lin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Compressive stimulation can modulate articular chondrocyte functions. Nevertheless, the relevant studies are not comprehensive. This is primarily due to the lack of cell culture apparatuses capable of conducting the experiments in a high throughput, precise, and cost-effective manner. To address the issue, we demonstrated the use of a perfusion microcell culture system to investigate the stimulating frequency (0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 Hz) effect of compressive loading (20% and 40% strain) on the functions of articular chondrocytes. The system mainly integrates the functions of continuous culture medium perfusion and the generation of pneumatically-driven compressive stimulation in a high-throughput micro cell culture system. Results showed that the compressive stimulations explored did not have a significant impact on chondrocyte viability and proliferation. However, the metabolic activity of chondrocytes was significantly affected by the stimulating frequency at the higher compressive strain of 40% (2 Hz, 40% strain). Under the two compressive strains studied, the glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) synthesis was upregulated when the stimulating frequency was set at 1 Hz and 2 Hz. However, the stimulating frequencies explored had no influence on the collagen production. The results of this study provide useful fundamental insights that will be helpful for cartilage tissue engineering and cartilage rehabilitation.