The responses of articular chondrocytes to physicochemical stimuli are intimately linked to processes that can lead to both degenerative and regenerative processes. Toward understanding this link, we examined the biomechanical behavior of single chondrocytes in response to growth factors (IGF-I and TGF-β1) and a range of compressive strains. The results indicate that the growth factors alter the biomechanics of the cells in terms of their stiffness coefficient (∼two-fold increase over control) and compressibility, as measured by an apparent Poisson's ratio (∼two-fold increase over control also). Interestingly, the compressibility decreased significantly with respect to the applied strain. Moreover, we have again detected a critical strain threshold in chondrocytes at ∼30% strain in all treatments. Overall, these findings demonstrate that cellular biomechanics change in response to both biochemical and biomechanical perturbations. Understanding the underlying biomechanics of chondrocytes in response to such stimuli may be useful in understanding various aspects of cartilage, including the study of osteoarthritis and the development of tissue-engineering strategies.
- Poisson's ratio
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine