Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

Hydrostatic pressure device for the application of high mechanical loads on intervertebral disc cells in three-dimensional scaffolds

Purpose of the project was to study influences of mechanical loads on intervertebral disc cells. For the application of high hydrostatic pressure within a wide loading range (up to 3 MPa or even higher) we have developed a compression cylinder.

During the mechanical loading experiments, cell-seeded scaffolds that are sealed into sterile infusion bags filled with culture medium are transferred into the cylindric tube of the device. Before closing the system, the cylinder is completely filled with fluid and any residual air has to be removed from the closed device before loading. The closed cylinder is placed into the hydraulic loading frame of an Instron machine that is calibrated for the application of defined loading conditions. Intermittent hydrostatic pressure is applied with a computer-based loading program and monitored by a pressure sensor situated inside the chamber.

With this method disc cell loaded scaffolds - as done in this project - but also complete disc samples can be loaded by well-defined hydrostatic pressure by variation of the pressure magnitude, the duration of the applied loading cycle, the number of repetitions of loading cycles etc. Disc cell gene expression, cell viability and cell signalling molecules in conditioned media was analysed compared to control cultures without any load application.

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