Cyclic uniaxial mechanical stretching of cells using a LEGO® parts-based mechanical stretcher system
Boulter, Etienne (2019), Cyclic uniaxial mechanical stretching of cells using a LEGO® parts-based mechanical stretcher system, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.dbrv15dx8
Mechanical cues are essential to the regulation of cell and tissue physiology. Henceforth, it has become an utmost necessity for cell biologists to account for those mechanical parameters when investigating biological processes and they need devices to manipulate cells accordingly. Here, we report a simple mechanical cell stretching system that can generate uniaxial cyclic mechanical stretch on cells in tissue culture. This system is based upon a low-cost battery-powered uniaxial cyclic mechanical stretcher exclusively built out of LEGO® parts combined to a stretchable PDMS tissue culture plate in order to grow and stretch cells. We characterize the system and show that it can be used with a wide variety of downstream applications including immunofluorescence, Western blotting and biochemical assays. We also illustrate how this system can be useful in a study as we investigated the behavior of integrin adhesion complexes upon cell stretching. We therefore present a cost-effective, multipurpose cell stretching system that should help understand mechanical signaling.
LEGO® parts uniaxial cyclic cell stretching system assembly instructions booklet