Mechanical and Physical Regulation of Cell Behavior

Brandon D. Riehl, Jung Yul Lim

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


Mechanical signals are key factors in cell and tissue morphogenesis, homeostasis, and remodeling. Physical extracellular environments are translated into cytosolic biochemical signaling activities through mechanotransduction behavior. A breakdown in mechanotransduction and a loss of mechanical tissue homeostasis have been proposed as key factors in many diseases. Cells in vivo experience multimodal mechanical stimulations including tension, compression, fluid flow-induced shear, etc. These stimulations have the potential to regulate cell growth, signaling factor secretion, extracellular matrix production, cell fate decision, and tissue remodeling. Functional tissue engineering has utilized various mechanical stimuli to closely match in vivo environments, e.g., compression for cartilage regeneration, flow shear for bone formation, etc. These efforts aimed to achieve the goal of "biomimetic" regeneration of damaged tissues. The use of mechanical stimuli for regulating cell behavior is reviewed in this chapter using the categories of tensile stretching in two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) conditions, compression and hydrostatic pressure, fluid flow-induced shear stress in 2D, 3D, and microfluidic conditions, as well as alternative stimulation techniques. Specifically, mechanical control of cells is highlighted with respect to dental regenerative medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationStem Cell Biology and Tissue Engineering in Dental Sciences
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780123977786
ISBN (Print)9780123971579
StatePublished - 2015


  • Compression
  • Dental regenerative medicine
  • Fluid shear
  • Mechanotransduction
  • Tension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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