1998 Volume 41 Issue 4 Pages 576-583
The effects of mechanical stimuli on fibroblasts have been investigated, using the collagen gel culture method. A specimen of thin collagen gel membrane, involving cells, was supported by stainless steel wire mesh and subjected to static or dynamic uniaxial tensile/compressive load in an incubator. The cell alignment, the shrinkage of collagen gel matrix, and mechanical properties of the specimens have been examined. We found that both of static and dynamic loads strengthened the collagen matrix. From the morphological evidences, the dynamic stimuli were concluded to be effective in matrix strengthening. However, since the specimens were not strengthened uniformly and portions of compressive stresses remained weak, the macroscopic tensile test failed to show the differences of the mechanical properties between the specimens under static and dynamic stimuli.