Cells can distinguish between different types of mechanical signals, such as stretch (tension), pressure (compression), and shear, to guide mechanosensitive cellular activities. Cell culture systems with controlled delivery of a mechanical input such as substrate strain, hydrostatic pressure, or fluid shear stress are used for the in vitro application of these forces. The work reported here uses a system that imparts equibiaxial loading on a flexible substrate to study cell response to stretch, similar to the Bioflex in the Flexcell [1] family of products. The objective of this study is to introduce an analytical (closed-form) solution of the relationship between the substrate strain and pressure under small strains, less than 2%. The solution is derived from the superposition of two elastic responses induced in the equibiaxial strain culture system after applying pressure.

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