• Yuli Huang Yuli Huang
  • Nam-Trung Nguyen Nam-Trung Nguyen
  • Khoi Seng Lok Khoi Seng Lok
  • Peter Peng Foo Lee Peter Peng Foo Lee
  • Maohan Su Maohan Su
  • Min Wu Min Wu
  • Leyla Kocgozlu Leyla Kocgozlu
  • Benoit Ladoux Benoit Ladoux

Aim: This article reports the development of a multiarray microchip with real-time imaging capability to apply mechanical strains onto monolayered cell cultures. Materials & methods: Cells were cultured on an 8-孠thick membrane that was positioned in the microscope focal plane throughout the stretching process. Each stretching unit was assembled from three elastomeric layers and a glass coverslip. A programmable pneumatic control system was developed to actuate this platform. Multiple stretching experiments were conducted with various cell lines. Results: The platform provides a maximum uniform strain of 69%. Acute and long-term cell morphological changes were observed. The supreme imaging capability was verified by real-time imaging of transfected COS-7 stretching and poststretching imaging of immunofluorescence-stained PTK2. Conclusion: The platform reported here is a powerful tool for studying mechanically induced physiological changes in cells. Such a device could be used in tissue regeneration for maintaining essential cell growth conditions.