Journal of biomechanics

Dynamic nanomechanics of individual bone marrow stromal cells and cell-matrix composites during chondrogenic differentiation.

PMID 25468666


Dynamic nanomechanical properties of bovine bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) and their newly synthesized cartilage-like matrices were studied at nanometer scale deformation amplitudes. The increase in their dynamic modulus, |E(*)| (e.g., 2.4±0.4 kPa at 1 Hz to 9.7±0.2 kPa at 316 Hz at day 21, mean±SEM), and phase angle, δ, (e.g., 15±2° at 1 Hz to 74±1° at 316 Hz at day 21) with increasing frequency were attributed to the fluid flow induced poroelasticity, governed by both the newly synthesized matrix and the intracellular structures. The absence of culture duration dependence suggested that chondrogenesis of BMSCs had not yet resulted in the formation of a well-organized matrix with a hierarchical structure similar to cartilage. BMSC-matrix composites demonstrated different poro-viscoelastic frequency-dependent mechanical behavior and energy dissipation compared to chondrocyte-matrix composites due to differences in matrix molecular constituents, structure and cell properties. This study provides important insights into the design of optimal protocols for tissue-engineered cartilage products using chondrocytes and BMSCs.