Effect of dynamic compression on in vitro chondrocyte metabolism

Y. H. Tsuang, Y. S. Lin, L. T. Chen, C. K. Cheng, Jue Shing Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Chondrocytes can detect and respond to the mechanical environment by altering their metabolism. This study was designed to explore the effects of dynamic compression on chondrocyte metabolism. Methods: Chondrocytes were harvested from newborn Wistar rats. After 7 days of expansion, chondrocytes embedded in agarose discs underwent uniaxial unconfined dynamic compression loads at different amplitudes (5%, 10%, and 15%) and frequencies (0.5 Hz, 1.0 Hz, 2.0 Hz, and 3.0 Hz) with a duration of 24 hours. The delayed effects on the chondrocytes were studied at 1, 3, and 7 days after the experiment. Results: The results showed that at 10% strain, higher-frequency compression pressure can enhance the proliferation of chondrocytes. The synthesis of glycosaminoglycan (GAG) increased at 10%-15% strain and a 1-Hz load. The synthesis of nitric oxide (NO) increased at the 0.5-Hz load; while decreasing at the 15% strain. With 10% strain, 1 Hz dynamic compression, the proliferation of chondrocytes and GAG synthesis increased and persisted for 7 days, and NO synthesis decreased at the third and seventh days of culture. Conclusions: This study showed that chondrocytes respond metabolically to compressive loading, which is expected to modulate the growth and the resultant biomechanical properties of these tissue-engineered constructs during culture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-449
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Artificial Organs
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Agarose
  • Bioreactors
  • Dynamic compression
  • Nitric oxide
  • Proteoglycan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics


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