It has been shown that bone cells are more responsive to fluid flow induced shear stress as compared to applied substrate strain (Owan, et al., 1997, Smalt, et al., 1997). Using novel micromechanical analysis techniques, we have measured individual cell strains resulting from 10 minutes of continuous fluid flow at a flow rate that produces a shear stress of 15 dyne/cm2. Individual cell strains varied widely from less than 1.0% to over 25% strain within the same group of cells. The increased sensitivity of cells to fluid flow induced shear stress may be attributed to much greater cellular deformations resulting from fluid flow induced sheer stress.

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