Effects of cyclic compression on the mechanical properties and calcification process of immature chick bone tissue in culture

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Contribution of mechanical loading to tissue growth during both the development and post-natal maturation is of a particular interest, as its understanding would be important to strategies in bone tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. The present study has been performed to investigate how immature bone responds to mechanical loading using an ex vivo culture system. A slice of the tibia, with the thickness of 3 mm, was obtained from 0-day-old chick. For the ex vivo culture experiment in conjunction with cyclic compressive loading, we developed a custom-made, bioreactor system where both the load and the deformation applied to the specimen was recorded. Cyclic compression, with an amplitude of 0.3 N corresponding to 1 to 2% compressive strain, was applied to immature bone specimen during a 3-day culture period at an overall loading rate 3–4 cycles/min, in the presence of β-glycerol phosphate and dexamethasone in culture medium. The stress-strain relationship was obtained at the beginning and the end of the culture experiment. In addition, analyses for alkaline phosphate release, cell viability and tissue calcification were also performed. It was exhibited that elastic moduli of bone slices were significantly elevated at the end of the 3-day culture in the presence of cyclic compression, which was a similar phenomenon to significant elevation of the elastic moduli of bone tissue by the maturation from 0-day old to 3-day old. By contrast, no significant changes in the moduli were observed in the absence of cyclic compression or in deactivated, cell-free samples. The increases in the moduli were coincided with the increase in calcified area in the bone samples. It was confirmed that immature bone can respond to compressive loading in vitro and demonstrate the growth of bone matrix, similar to natural, in vivo maturation. The elevation of the elastic moduli was attributable to the increased calcified area and the realignment of collagen fibers parallel to the loading direction. The ex vivo loading system established here can be further applied to study responses to mechanical loading in osteogenesis as well as callus maturation for better understanding of factors to consider in successful bone regeneration with mechanical factors.


  • Bone Reports

    Bone Reports (6), 120-128, 2017-06



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